Body Team 12 Body Team 12 2017 Winner of Outstanding Short Documentary and Outstanding Editing at The News & Documentary Emmy® Awards

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The Film

Vulcan Productions partnered with director David Darg and RYOT Films, who worked alongside a small but grimly courageous group of Liberian Red Cross workers tasked with collecting the dead during the height of the Ebola outbreak: Body Team 12. Told from the ground in Monrovia, Liberia, this short but powerful film is communicated through the eyes of the only female member of the team, Garmai Sumo, and reveals the heartbreaking, lifesaving work of removing the dead from the victims’ loved ones in order to halt transmission of the disease.

Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, Body Team 12 won the award for Best Documentary Short.


The Film

  • David Darg: Director, Producer
  • Bryn Mooser: Producer
  • Paul G. Allen: Executive Producer
  • Olivia Wilde: Co-Executive Producer
  • Carole Tomko: Co-Executive Producer
  • Martha Rogers: Associate Producer
  • Gareth Seltzer: Associate Producer
  • Bill Horan: Associate Producer
  • Jannat Gargi: Coordinating Producer
  • Molly DeWolf Swenson: Coordinating Producer
  • Saloman Lighthelm - Quiet Skies: Music
  • AJ Hochhalter - The Rocks Cry Out: Music
  • Ryan Taubert - Strangers to Ourselves: Music
  • William McGuigan: Audio Mixing
  • Special Thanks to: Garmai Sumo, Body Team 12, and the Liberian Red Cross
Where to See It

Dispelling the myths

During the Ebola outbreak, myths about how one became infected and how the disease spread ran rampant. These belief systems would pose a substantial risk for a group of 12 volunteers charged with removing dead bodies felled by the virus. In 2014 Director David Darg was an Ebola aid worker and first responder. He was immediately struck by the bravery of Liberia’s Ebola body teams and in particular, by the only female member of the group, Garmai Sumo. Vulcan, who had spent significant time on the ground, immediately recognized the importance of the goal set by Darg, to shine a light on the monumental heroism of Body Team 12, and in the process educate the public about the real, and not-so-real risks that Ebola posed.


The Ebola epidemic has killed over 11,100 people since it was first reported in March, 2014.

Help tackle Ebola


“To overcome this 21st century challenge, we need 21st century solutions.”

Paul G. Allen


“History is defined by people who stood up against huge odds to fight immense battles. If it were not for the courage of the body teams, the Ebola epidemic would be far worse."

David Darg

Mobilizing for action

The late Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan was one of the first responders to Ebola. In July of 2014, Allen mobilized, alongside international governments and health organizations, to identify and address the most immediate needs. Significant grants were made by early August, and in October 2014, Paul announced a $100 million commitment to combat Ebola, the largest private gift to date in the fight against this deadly disease. Created in partnership with Vulcan Productions, RYOT and David Darg, Body Team 12 didn’t just raise awareness and support for the Ebola relief effort. Nor did it simply break down stigmas and misconceptions surrounding the disease. It inspired others to get involved—including numerous survivors of Ebola.



Paul G. Allen invests $100 million to fight Ebola outbreak.


"Ebola is not somebody else's problem. It is our problem. We must define a collective vision and ways to create a better future. Because what we do today will save lives tomorrow."

Paul G. Allen


Body Team 12 executive producer Oliva Wilde helps launch the Ebola Orphans Project.


“It is my hope that this film becomes a platform to raise awareness and support for the ongoing Ebola relief efforts, and especially for the newly orphaned children who lost their parents to the disease.”

David Darg

Addressing needs as they arise

Our media efforts have included funding BBC Media Action on the ground in West Africa; raising the educational bar via videos, radio dramas, mobile aps, billboard campaigns and call-in radios shows; and creating #ISurvivedEbola—a multi-dimensional communications campaign that uses entertainment media to inform, engage, and empower audiences to tackle the disease, dispel common stigmas attached to it, and help gain support and respect for survivors. And we’re nowhere near done. Now that the Ebola crisis has abated, we’ve shifted our focus to another underrepresented group. Operation Blessing, led by Garmai Sumo, addresses the needs of the more than two thousand orphans left in the wake of the disease.


Garmai Sumo leads Operation Blessing's Ebola Orphan project to feed and educate over 170 orphans.



"The film stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to move people to act."

Bryn Mooser


Let others know that you are helping tackle Ebola. Tweet your pledge.

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Action & Impact


"The winning film is a spiritual and inspiring story of personal courage and commitment. The filmmaking team takes us on a fearless journey that restores our faith in humanity." - Tribeca Film Festival Jury Comment

Get Involved:

Donate to Operation Blessing's Ebola Orphan Project

Get Involved:

This outbreak has passed, but Ebola remains as a threat. Find out how you can help Tackle Ebola today.

The Filmmakers

Photo of David Darg

David Darg Director - Producer

David Darg is co-founder of RYOT and VP of International Operations at ...

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Photo of Bryn Mooser

Bryn Mooser Producer

Bryn Mooser is the co-founder of RYOT, the first news website that ...

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Photo of Garmai Sumo

Garmai Sumo Aid Worker

Garmai Sumo is a registered nurse and has worked as a community health ...

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