When Bo and I started this film festival, we asked ourselves why it was needed, and why it would be a better option than sharing rare films online or some other strategy. We agreed it would be not about just presenting the films to a larger audience but cultivating the best audience. We wanted to get the right people in the same room. We imagined this as mix of patient advocates, filmmakers, doctors and industry. We wanted the stories in the films to prompt conversations and collaborations among them. And it worked.
Among the films we screened on our first day was “Love and Atrophy” by Gareth Burghes, addressing Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Gareth did a brief Q&A after his film. In the audience were Artemis Joukowsky and Cray Novick. They are also filmmakers and currently at work on a feature length documentary on SMA and the recent treatment breakthrough. After the three met and talked at our festival, they have teamed up to combine their efforts and work together on the new film.
In the video below you'll see some of those moments from our festival. It is a fundraising video for the KickStarter campaign to help fund their film. They have one week left to raise the rest of their films budget. Like most KickStarter campaign there are rewards for donating at various levels. If you're facing SMA in your family, the $100 level might be of interest since the filmmakers will create a video telling your SMA story with you.