Counting Backwards

The day before Joe was diagnosed with Leukemia he was content with ignoring his passion and walking the safe road in life. Now that his days are numbered, the questions that used to be so easy to avoid are now impossible to ignore. Joe refuses treatment in order to live his final days to the fullest. Deciding that now more than ever, it’s important that he experience love – he chooses not to tell Claire, the girl of his dreams, about his dismal prognosis. He begins writing a novel about his experiences as both a method of coping and an attempt at a legacy. As Joe turns the comedic disaster of his life into fantastic triumphs of fiction, he learns to be the courageous and artistic hero of his mind, and ultimately discovers that he is living a life worth fighting for.

Alexandra Drane

Truly passionate talk about ‘Engaging with Grace” on the ‘end of life’ issue. Have you talked with the people you love? Don’t miss this brief, yet very powerful presentation from Alexandra Drane.

2011 Facing Us Video Contest Winner

Melanie Oldham’s video won her first place in the 2011 Facing Us Video Contest! Watch her story of hope and recovery.

2011 Facing Us Video Contest Runner Up

Kristen Famiano’s video, “Bipolar Recovery,” won her 2nd place in the 2011 Facing Us Video Contest.

Talking to Children about Cancer

In this moving clip, Jill Ellen Snow, wife of the late Tony Snow, President George W. Bush’s press secretary who died at a young age from colon cancer, Liz Scott, mother of Alex’s Lemonade Stand founder Alex Scott; and Jai Pausch, wife of the late Randy Pausch, acclaimed Carnegie Mellon professor and author of internationally best-selling book, The Last Lecture, tell stories of talking to their children about cancer to ABC news veteran and cancer survivor Sam Donaldson during a roundtable at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 16th Annual Conference in March 2011.

An Illusion

This video sends out the message that a disability is only an illusion because people cannot be defined by the disability they have. There is so much for people to realize beyond one’s condition.

Tyttonen (The Young Girl)

A woman, trapped by time and age, searches for freedom in her childhood memories.

This is a short movie inspired by my grandmother who became ill with Alzheimer’s disease and occasionally mixed up dreams with reality. This little movie portrays the ways in which people handle illness as they grow older.

I created the short film in a foreign semester in Finland in a real Finnish retirement home. It was difficult at times to work with the elderly people there but by the end of the shoot they were all very sad to see the film crew leave.

Eleven Candles

Director Joel Fendelman follows his award-winning short documentary about the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, BAND OF SISTERS, with ELEVEN CANDLES, an intimate and insightful portrait of 10-year-old Natalie’s battle with leukemia. A year after diagnosis, Natalie faces ongoing doctor appointments and a myriad of health concerns, including necrosis of her hip. She meets each challenge with an amazing blend of inquisitiveness and hope.

As Natalie’s 11th birthday approaches, ELEVEN CANDLES follows her from the hospital to the shopping mall. Through engaging interviews, Natalie reveals her vigor for life, how other kids have responded to her illness and why she doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. The short documentary offers a rare glimpse of a young cancer patient’s life.

Darkest Hours

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/darkest_hours

Parents, teens, advocates and providers all share their horror stories about the lack of a system for children’s mental health care. While the documentary focuses on Connecticut, this is a national crisis: kids spending night after night in the emergency room because of the lack of psychiatric beds in the state; waits of up to six months to get an appointment with a psychologist because of escalating demand; families dealing with managed care companies that continually deny coverage for necessary treatment. All of this – combined with the raw emotion of accepting the fact that their child is mentally ill and will likely face a lifetime of medication and therapy.http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/darkest_hours

White Cane and Wheels

Paul Apelgren wanted to make a film about his Aunt Carmen and Uncle Steve. Carmen wanted the film to be called Soul Mates. Steve wanted the film to be called Gimp Love. The film shows they’re not your normal relatives, they’re outspoken, genuine, and hilarious. They also face tremendous hurdles on a daily basis. The simplest of tasks are extremely difficult. Carmen has Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is ninety-five percent blind and what little sight she has left is going fast. Steve has Muscular Dystrophy. Two years ago he could still sit up; now he can barely wind his watch. His illness is terminal. Carmen says, “Hopefully people won’t feel sorry for us and all that crap because it’s so annoying.” They see their life as a movie, a love story. Carmen and Steve met in a disabled acting class after a run of failed marriages and relationships. The film is an intimate look at the power of love and how it sustains two people who by all measures seem like they cannot make it. As the story progresses it becomes clear that things are “not all peaches and roses.” Especially when the biggest obstacle is the floor. Tensions run high. Carmen is the [...] continue the story