Memorial Sloan Kettering’s lovely short film follows a woman who’s late for everything

Alma and Rodrigo García Saiz craft a story of love and loss for Hispanic audiences

Published On
Feb 15, 2024
A Hispanic woman and man smiling as they meet outside a restaurant

Editor's Pick

A single data point and a simple character trait combine powerfully in a new short film for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, created by Alma and director Rodrigo García Saiz for Hispanic audiences.

The three-minute film, “Late,” profiles a woman who is just that—always behind schedule in her daily life. We first meet her as she arrives at a college class that’s already started, where she happens to meet her future husband.

They fall in love, and while her chronic tardiness is a regular source of awkwardness, nothing can derail their relationship. Except at the end, when her character trait has devastating consequences.

 

The film, moving and extremely well crafted, and its associated campaign were guided by a single statistic—that Hispanics are more likely to have their cancer diagnosed at a late stage, when treatment is usually more invasive and less successful.

This isn’t expressly noted in the film, which ends with the lines, “Getting a cancer screening on time saves lives. Don’t be late.” But the website, getcheckedatiempo.com, goes into detail on the data. Among the other sobering statistics presented on the site:

• One in three Hispanics will learn they have cancer in their lifetime.
• Cancer accounts for one in five deaths in the Hispanic community.
• Cancer screenings can prevent more than half of deaths from some types of cancers.

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“Late,” which features Jae Hall’s 2023 cover of the Beach Boys track “God Only Knows,” premiered last week at the Ibero American Film Festival in Miami. It will also be screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in March, and run on donated national and local media across TV, digital, social, OOH and print through the end of May.

It’s another example of compelling long-form storytelling the health space. Other recent examples include the Harris Project’s 2023 film focusing on the co-occuring disorders of mental health problems and addiction, and Montefiore’s beautiful holiday campaign last year.

“As an agency that’s rooted in Hispanic culture, we were honored to partner with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to produce a beautiful story and film that makes connections with families everywhere,” said Monica Marulanda, executive creative director at Alma. “As the Hispanic population is often more affected, we were proud to be able to work with Rodrigo García Saiz and bring to life an emotional story that’s rooted in Hispanic, but that could touch people’s hearts everywhere, and even better, inspire them to schedule their next screening.”

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, president and CEO of MSK, added that, with almost 50,000 people in the Hispanic community dying of cancer every year, the film serves as “a poignant reminder of the profound impact of timely actions on our well-being and the importance of regular cancer screenings” and a call to recognize “the urgency of punctuality in matters of health, to champion screenings, and ultimately, to be the driving force in saving precious lives.”

Credits

Date
Feb 15, 2024
Client :
Memorial Sloan Kettering
Agency :
Alma
Sr. Communications Strategist :
Erin McDonough
VP Brand Advertising & Creative Services :
Eric Rosenbaum
Senior Director Marketing & Communications :
Popsy Akin
Senior Director Creative :
Randi Press
Director Advertising :
Mike Bongiovanni
Marketing Specialist :
Aly Robinson
Co-President/Chief Creative Officer :
Alvar Sunol
Executive Creative Director :
Monica Marulanda
Group Creative Director :
Virgilio Flores
Associate Creative Director :
Humberto Maldonado
Copywriter :
Raquel Chisholm
Associate Art Director :
Erika Peitersen
Creative Director :
Bruno Trad
Senior Art Director :
Emilia Lora
Mac Artist :
Bella Pedreira
Mac Artist :
Caitlyn Becerra
Freelance Mac Artist :
Regan Andre
Mac Artist :
Gianluca Abate
Director of Strategy Content & Experience :
Tomas Nunez
Strategist Content & Experience :
Paola Plaza
Content Creator :
Isabel Thielen
Consumer Connections Director :
Jorge Mercado
Senior Strategic Planning Director :
Jorge Becerra
VP Director of Production :
Yeyo Marquez
Executive Producer :
Jorge Espinosa
Production Coordinator :
Daniella Alamo
Head of Studio :
Jennifer Eirea
Studio Producer :
Mercy Lopez
Audio Engineer :
Jose Toledo
Freelance Video Editor :
Pablo D. Colella
Developer :
David Hutchinson
Senior Producer :
Mimi Cossio
VP Group Account Director :
Daisy Delgado
Group Business Director :
Madeline Perez-Velez
Account Supervisor :
Sofia Rodriguez
Account Executive :
Leisly Esquivel
Account Coordinator :
Andrea Bruzual
Post Production/Sound Design :
Animal Music

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