I AM ANN STOKES and I was Neil's teacher

Posted on
14 May 2013

IamBreathing_global_240.pngThis is a series of posts by people who are going to host screenings of I AM BREATHING on MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I am Ann from Flockton near Huddersfield in England. I am hosting a screening of I AM BREATHING as a tribute to Neil Platt.


I had the privilege of teaching Neil at High School. He worked on the stage crew of the school productions and I got to know Neil and his family well through this. We became family friends and we were all delighted to attend his wedding to Louise.  

I promised myself that I would do what I could to continue his campaign to raise awareness of MND.

For the Global Screening Day of I AM BREATHING, I am hosting a screening in Huddersfield Town Hall on 21 June, organised through my WI group, Tea and Tarts.  We are going to fund-raise for MND on the evening by having a Platt’s Bar and some music after the film to raise a glass to Neil! Details and RSVP here.

Can you also host a screening on 21 June, wherever you are?


I AM CHRIS FUJIWARA and I am launching the film in the UK

Posted on
12 May 2013


This is a series of posts by people who are going to host screenings of I AM BREATHING on MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I am Chris Fujiwara, artistic director of Edinburgh International Film Festival, and our festival is showing I AM BREATHING.

Chris FujiwaraWe’ll be launching the film in the UK on the 20th of June, the eve of MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I AM BREATHING tells a heartbreaking story in a compassionate and inspired way. The film can make all viewers more aware of the possibilities and the limitations of their own humanity, by showing how, through his disease, Neil Platt came to experience his own possibilities and limitations in such an extreme way.

It’s vitally important to increase awareness of MND, and I’m glad that our festival has the opportunity to help do that by showing this excellent film.

Details and RSVP here.

Can you also host a screening on 21 June, wherever you are?


I AM TERJE TOOMISTU and I am showing this film in Estonia

Posted on
04 May 2013

IamBreathing_global_240.pngThis is a series of posts by people who are going to host screenings of I AM BREATHING on MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I am Terje Toomistu. I'm a young anthropologist, loving documentaries, passionate about global consciousness. I'm hosting a screening in a local subculture house called Genclub in Tartu, Estonia.


While living and travelling around in various cultures I have come to notice a general trend which could be summed up with the words: what is known is socially constructed, what is not known is to be afraid of. As an anthropologist, the tools I work with are about interpretation and translation – from one cultural community to another, from one language to another, from one reality to another. To create better understandings, to fight the fear.

I believe film is a great medium to fight the fear of the unknown. Yet when it comes to the matter of death we find ourselves in a paradoxical situation – we are afraid of death as this is the total unknown. No anthropologist can help us much here with interpretation. Almost all religions have tried to do so, yet death remains outside of our subjective experience, thus creating tensions, creating fear.

I saw I AM BREATHING at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam which I was attending as a media representative for Estonian independent cultural magazine Müürileht. It was a late night screening, I ended up in tears. These tears were not fully about sadness, but there was also something else – something that could perhaps be explained with this old Latin saying 'memento mori' – remember dying. Remember dying in order to remember living. Death is like a mirror in which the true meanings of life are reflected. Or just as Sogyal Rinpoche said:

"You will all die successfully."

I AM BREATHING is a great film with an incredibly touching story, and I am totally willing to make my small contribution to raise MND awareness in Estonia through organizing a screening.

See you in Tartu. Kohtumiseni Tartus Genklubis 21. juunil. 
Details and RSVP here.

Can you also host a screening on 21 June, wherever you are?


Out of the Main Swim

Posted on
04 May 2013

Warm reception of our film at this fab Hot Docs festival in Toronto where audiences have multiplied over the years.  Such is this city's passion for documentary that there is now a cinema called The Bloor which shows nothing but documentaries all year – I AM BREATHING will show there on June 21st. Programmed by the tireless Robin Smith, it is a great model  for other cities,  defying all expectations with the steady audiences it attracts. 

I AM BREATHING at Hot Docs 2013

Canada is a natural home for documentary. We exported Grierson here who went on to start the National Film Board and now  the tradition is stronger than ever – though funding is under threat. 

Local filmmaker Kevin McMahon  feels documentary should be protected as a "cherished cultural form" in Canada, with the same significance as "the beaver, the colour red and Maple Leaf tartan."  He quotes that great Canadian thinker  Marshall McLuhan who felt that Canadians were inherently good observers because "when you are out of the main swim, as it were, you have a much better opportunity of seeing what's going on."


I AM RICHARD DAWSON and I am fund-racing in a taxi

Posted on
02 May 2013

This is a series of posts by people who are going to host screenings of I AM BREATHING on MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I am Richard Dawson, a 38-year-old IT Professional from the Home Counties in England. I've had a connection with MND since 2001 when I lost my father Nigel to this cruel and wicked disease. I have sadly seen the passing of many others to MND, and this drives me to do as much as I can. My aim is to raise as much awareness and funding as possible.

To raise funds this year I have embarked on something quite mad, I have purchased a 1995 Black London Taxi and have created a massive awareness event called BigMNDrace. The Big MND Race 2013 will see two teams of racers leave Liverpool. A team in cars led by MaNDy, the MND Awareness raising taxi, will leave in convoy and head north to Ben Nevis. Racing against the cars will be a team of cyclists heading west to Snowdon. The winning team is the first to get to their mountain, climb it, and return to Liverpool, all within 24 hours

For more information visit and follow @IT_MAN_Dawson on Twitter.

For the Global Screening Day of I AM BREATHING I am planning to use the taxi to show the film. The taxi is equipped with a DVD player. So for a totally unique film watching experience, watch this space.

Can you also host a screening on 21 June?



I AM BREATHING to be distributed in Canada

Posted on
29 Apr 2013

Press release: Kinosmith to distribute I AM BREATHING and FUTURE MY LOVE in Canada

Bloor Cinema will feature I AM BREATHING on film's Global Screening Day, June 21, in aid of ALS Canada

Toronto – Kinosmith picks up I AM BREATHING which has been dubbed "one of the year's most moving films" (The Hollywood Reporter) and just saw its Canadian premiere at Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival. The film by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon centres around 34-year-old Neil Platt, diagnosed with terminal ALS (also known as MND or Lou Gehrig's disease), and his wife and baby son. Audiences from Russia to the United States have been stunned by its honesty and relatability. 

Robin Smith, CEO of Kinosmith, said: "The film floored me when I first saw it, and I'm so pleased we can preview the film at the Bloor Cinema in aid of ALS Canada on the film's Global Screening Day on June 21 to further the awareness of this devastating disease. The release is slated for later in the summer."


I AM TONY BRAY and I am swimming the Solent

Posted on
24 Apr 2013

IamBreathing_global_240.pngThis is the first in a series of posts by people who are going to host screenings of I AM BREATHING on MND/ALS Global Awareness Day.

I am Tony Bray, a radio presenter for Vectis Radio, based on the Isle of Wight, UK. I am supporting MND awareness because I know the devastating effects the disease can have, not just for the sufferer but also for their families and friends. It truly breaks my heart and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help.

To raise funds and awareness I will be swimming the Solent, along with some others, in July 2013.  Details can be found on

Running up to the Global Screening Day of I AM BREATHING I will be preparing a special radio show to be broadcast from 1-3pm on Global Day June 21. You can be part of the show! We are currently looking for short stories relating to MND that we will feature from May onwards. If you have a story to share please let me know in comments below.

I am showing I AM BREATHING with the Isle of Wight Branch of the MND Association on 21 June. Details and RSVP here.

Can you also host a screening on 21 June?



I AM BREATHING wins 'Best Documentary Feature'

Posted on
22 Apr 2013

riverrun.jpegI AM BREATHING just won Best Documentary Feature at the RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Ten films had been chosen for the Documentary Competition, including GOOGLE AND THE WORLD BRAIN, SOFIA'S LAST AMBULANCE, and TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. The jurors were Sana Haq, Wendy Mitchell, Jen Ruppman, and Nola Schiff.


Neil was the first of our group to go

Posted on
14 Apr 2013

Morag McKinnon directed I AM BREATHING together with Emma Davie. She had met Neil and Louise while studying at Edinburgh College of Art. 

I didn't know Neil all that well at Art School. Memories are hazy and consist of just general fun, laughter and nights at the pub.

There was a lot of fun and a LOT of laughter - and Neil played his guitar and sang songs. I remember Neil's dad had died and he had dealt with it incredibly well. He had that Yorkshire pragmatism of just getting on with things and most importantly - he kept his sense of humour.

The group of friends that kept in contact since Art School have I think all been held together over time by a shared sense of humour. Neil's idea of ribbing a friend who wasn't able to spend his last new year with him was to send a text with a photograph of him draped in a sheet with a toe tag on. I think it was his way of being undefeated by the disease and utterly remaining himself.


UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival, kicking off Global Screening Day

Posted on
15 Mar 2013

Press release: I AM BREATHING will mark MND/ALS Global Awareness Day on 21 June, launching with its UK premiere at EIFF on 20 June.

Critically-acclaimed feature documentary I AM BREATHING will raise money and awareness for Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day on 21 June 2013 through a global screening day, launching with the UK premiere at the EIFFEdinburgh International Film Festival the previous day (20 June). Scottish Documentary Institute and the Motor Neurone Disease Association will collaborate to promote awareness and raise funds with cinema and community screenings of the film all over the world on 21 June. Participating so far are the Balkans, Australia, USA, Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands, Russia, and India.

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