Private Project

The President and the Dragon

Our film is a tale of searing heart and even more searing pain.

Of the screams and tears of men, women, and children in some of
the world’s most challenging and underserved environments and how they inspired a group of remarkable people to take action.
It is the story of the battle against Dracunculus medinensis - or as we know it today - Guinea worm.

  • Waleed ElTayeb Gubara
  • Ian D Murphy
  • Shaun P McGuckian
  • Waleed ElTayeb Gubara
  • Shaun P McGuckian
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 31 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    500,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Arab Emirates
  • Country of Filming:
    South Sudan
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Waleed ElTayeb Gubara, Ian D Murphy

Waleed is a writer, filmmaker, and content creator with over 20 years of experience working across Europe, the Middle East and Africa leading pivotal projects with governments, public offices, NGOs and global brands and organisations.

He is the CEO and co-founder of Touchline FZ LLC, one of the MENA regions leading content creation agencies. He is also a founder of Philanthropy Age, a leading source of philanthropic news, views, interviews and analysis for the MENA region, focusing on inspiring and supporting planned giving.

A passionate storyteller, Waleed is the writer and producer of Diamonds, Backpacks and a Matchbox, a documentary film capturing the lives of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
He is also the publisher of How to do Good, a collection of inspiring essays from Nobel laureates, world leaders, philanthropists and celebrities on difficult and inspiring discussions that address the great humanitarian challenges of our age.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was properly introduced to the world of Guinea worm in a conversation with the Carter Center, a partner we have tremendous respect for and have championed their impact through our work over many years.

As a Sudanese, I was aware of the disease, this monster. What was news to me, however, was the extent of the problem historically and the incredible work and dedication that has gone into eradicating Guinea worm.

What started as a request for a small narrative piece for the Ministry of Health in South Sudan quickly evolved in my mind into a compelling underdog tale about an unlikely eradication story compounded by impossible challenges in one of the bloodiest and poorest environments on earth. I presented my pitch for a feature-length documentary; it was an easy sell. Why wouldn’t it be? After all, this is an extraordinary account, with some of the most colourful characters, incidents and backdrops imaginable. This story needs to be told, and, as a Sudanese, I have to be the one to tell it.

I’m incredibly proud of what our people in South Sudan have achieved in the fight against Guinea worm. This film is to honour their contribution and sacrifice and their vital role in this inevitable milestone for humanity; the eradication of Guinea worm disease.