FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival (Disorder: RDFF) is a first-of-its-kind event showcasing films from around the world that address the challenges of life with a rare disease. Disorder: RDFF aims to increase awareness of these diseases among not only the general public but medical researchers as well.
Disorder: RDFF is pleased to announce its selected films, which will screen at Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco, CA, on November 9 and 10, 2019.
The festival's organizers have chosen 54 films dealing with some aspect of the 7,000 rare diseases, which affect 1 in 10 Americans.
"It was tough to choose from among this year's submissions, since there were so many amazing films," said Bo Bigelow, one of the festival's co-founders. "We couldn't have been more energized by the enormous response from filmmakers all over the world who are sharing these rare-disease stories," he said.
Some films are the first to be made about their subject disease, such as Jon Dorflinger's film "Unconditional," which deals with an ultra-rare neurodevelopmental disease called PACS1.
Aside from films submitted this year, the festival will also bring back 13 of its most popular selections from their last event, which took place in Boston, MA in fall 2017.
The festival's goal is to promote collaborations among rare-disease stakeholders in order to reach cures and treatments. One such collaboration involves filmmaker Gareth Burghes, whose film "Life & Atrophy" screened at the 2017 festival, where he met Cray Novick and Artemis Joukowsky, two other filmmakers focused on the rare disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy. "We formed a partnership at the festival and endeavored to adapt Life & Atrophy into a new film, The Genetics of Hope," said Burghes. The 2019 festival will screen this new film.
Tickets for the festival will go on sale in mid-September 2019, and will be announced on the event's website (https://www.rarediseasefilmfestival.com/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rarediseasefilmfestival).
Between some of the film screenings, rare disease researchers and patient advocates will also share stories from their experiences. These discussions have been shown to spark new thinking towards translation applications of current treatments and inspire avenues for new research. Additionally, many filmmakers attending the festival will have an opportunity to participate in questions and answers with the audience following the presentation of their films.
Disorder's founders are glad to have support from some of the leading organizations in rare advocacy—NORD, Beyond the Diagnosis, and Global Genes, —as well as several leading orphan drug companies including Premier Research, Sanofi Genzyme, Horizon, and Takeda.
More information on the festival can be found here: www.rarediseasefilmfestival.com.