There is a new era for the world of superheroes thanks to Dubai-born initiative, Superhope, in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH). Through uniting forces again, Superhope and GOSH have turned the dreams of ill children from the UAE into a reality by transforming them into their superhero alter-egos.
Now in its second year, GOSHxSuperhope is an initiative which aims to look beyond a child’s medical condition and bring their inner superhero to life. Due to the positive impact the initiative had on children from the Middle East in 2018, the production of the campaign is bigger than before and now features four children from the GCC, as well as children from the U.K.
The campaign film showcases the heart-warming stories of nine inspirational children, including two Emirati children, receiving treatment for haemotology and oncology conditions at the London-based hospital.
Tarik Batal and Basma Masri, the creators of Superhope, launched the initiative in Dubai in 2014, and have since taken Superhope to hospitals around the world to spread awareness of the importance of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) to help children fighting complex conditions strengthen their road to recovery.
“We are so glad that we were able to come back and experience this all over again with GOSH. The wonderful thing about this campaign is that it goes beyond nationality or condition and instead focuses on helping children from all corners of the globe to help them find strength during a traumatic time in their lives,” said Basma and Tarik.
“Seeing the children’s reactions once they put on their super-suits was an amazing moment. For everyone involved, it was truly satisfying knowing that we were able to make that happen.”
“It has been a tremendous pleasure to have worked with the creative team, parents, GOSH staff and doctors over the past two years. Their belief and incredible effort since day one has made all this possible,” they added.
The creative process started last year when all children were asked the central question: ‘if you were a superhero, how would you imagine yourself?’. Best-selling comic book artist, Amrit Birdi, returned to GOSH to fully realise the answers and sketch out the children’s imagination onto page. With the children completely unaware, the sketches were transformed into real-life superhero costumes by children’s costume studio, Atelier Spatz. Once the costumes were ready, Superhope and GOSH surprised the children with their bespoke superhero suits, as well as a professional photo and CGI trailer shoot led by globally renowned talent, including celebrity photographer to the stars, Ian Derry; production studio, Archers Mark; special effects, Escape Studios; and make up art by Ifrah.
At the launch of the documentary film and trailer, invited guests and family members saw the patients as superheroes for the first time. As GOSH treats 1,500 children from the Middle East every year for rare and specialist conditions, the campaign was tailored towards empowering children from UAE and Kuwait during their time in hospital.
To truly capture the superhero experience from concept to screen, the trailer will be launched across VOX Cinemas in the UAE for a 4-week period.
Shedding some light into the whole experience, the father of UAE patient, Ahmed, also known as SuperA, said, “Ahmed has really enjoyed the Superhope experience. Ahmed is a real hero for all the treatment that he has had to go through. We are happy that he had the chance to experience something like this during his treatment journey; it means a lot to our family. Super A will always be a part of him.”
Doctors and consultants at GOSH were also seen in the documentary video promoting the importance of fostering a positive mental attitude, as well as a positive patient experience, during the children’s time in hospital.
“As doctors, we know just how vital an experience like this is to a child’s recovery. This campaign has truly made an impact on the children by encouraging positivity during their treatment at GOSH. Superhope has given these amazing children the perfect opportunity to forget about their struggles and take their minds off being in a hospital,” explains Dr. Giuseppe Barone, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at GOSH.
“It is fantastic to be able to collaborate with Superhope and provide our international patients and their families at GOSH with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity again,” said Trevor Clarke OBE, Director of the International Service. “Initiatives like Superhope allow us to go above and beyond in our support for our families by offering children a positive and extraordinary experience during their treatment at GOSH.”