Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival announces selected films.

Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival has selected thirty films to show at their seven scheduled screenings in Cambridge, MA this October. These films address life with over two dozen rare diseases. Most, but not all, are documentaries and they range in length from 1 minute to 65 minutes.

 "The power of bringing together film, science, and rare disease families leads to renewed hope for all those given a one in a million diagnosis,” says Gareth Burghes, director of the film “Life & Atrophy”. “Disorder is a film festival that finds the common ground on rare diseases, empowering all those affected."

While the true stars of these films are the patients and families facing these epic struggles, the festival does offer some of the more traditional Hollywood star power too.

Academy Award winning actor J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) appears in “The Magic Bracelet” with Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), James VanderBeek (“Dawson's Creek”) and Bailee Madison (“Bridge to Terabithia”). The film shows a young girl facing Mitochondrial disease and was directed by Jon Poll (“Meet the Fockers”) and co-written by Academy Award winner Diablo Cody (“Juno”).

Academy Award nominated actress Mary McDonnell (“Dances with Wolves”) narrates the short film “Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope.” While Academy Award nominated actor William H. Macy (“Fargo”) narrates “This is Michelle” a short about Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Other films selected include:

What Sick Looks Like directed by Nerris Nassiri

Believe directed by Jo Ann Santangelo

The 100,000 Genomes Project - How We Get Results

Tess is Not Alone directed by Bo Bigelow

Until Now directed by Dana Altman

This is Michelle directed by Patrice Lighter

Life & Atrophy directed by Gareth Burghes

Genetics vs Genomics

Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope directed by Daniel DeFabio

Chiari Malformation directed by Elizabeth Brubaker and Nerris Nassiri

Rare In Common directed by Alisa Shakarian & Marc Dole

B+ directed by Nazir Mirzaee

Saving Sight directed by Nate Strubhar

Fragile X in Frame directed by Rick Guidotti

Imagine directed by Carl Mason

The Magic Bracelet directed by Jon Poll

This is Mito directed by Jon Dorflinger

SickKids: Ask Hermin - Urea Cycle Disorder

Adventures of Lucy directed by Teddy Valentovich

Cuerdas directed by Pedro Solís García

Finn directed by Christian Schultz

DxONE directed by Dan Masucci

Love is Out There directed by Ghita Benslimane

Special Blood directed by Natalie Metzger

Our Curse directed by Tomasz Śliwinski

Surviving Degos Disease directed by Dale Mattison

Rare is not an Excuse directed by Jason Cohen

Up for Air directed by Artem Agafonov


Among the rare diseases covered in these films are Dup15q, USP7 mutations, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Morquio A Syndrome, Sturge-Weber Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Chiari Malformation, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, SMA, Choroideremia (CHM), Thalassemia, Fragile X Syndrome, Niemann Pick Type C, Mitochondrial Disease, Hereditary Angiodema, NGLY1, Degos Syndrome, Ondine's Curse CCHS, and Cystic Fibrosis. 


Tickets for the festival are on sale now at



Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival will screen more than 30 films over two days, shining a light on life with two dozen different rare diseases. It was founded by two rare disease dads hoping to spark more conversations, collaborations and maybe cures. The audience will have an opportunity for questions and answers with some of the filmmakers following the presentation of their film.

Between the slates of films rare disease researchers and patient advocates will also share stories from their experience. The event has support from NORD, The Mighty, RDUF, MassBio, Global Genes, Rare Genomics Institute, Magic Wheelchair,  Shire, Vertex, Sanofi-Genzyme, Premier Research, The Menkes Foundation, The Patient Experience Project, Horizon Pharma, 32 Mile Media, Alnylam, Cambridge BioMarketing, and FDNA.





The schedule of films is online at


Press contact:

Daniel DeFabio