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.
We’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.
Can you also host a screening on 21 June, wherever you are?
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.
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."
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 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.
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 Edinburgh 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.
The North American Premiere of I AM BREATHING will take place at the highly regarded True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri.
Image: Stephen Bybee for True/False
Running from 28 February to 3 March, this festival "highlights innovative work with a cinematic scope, creative takes on contemporary currents, and most of all work that provokes dialogue about its subject and the documentary form itself." Sounds like a great fit!
In Helsinki, I AM BREATHING played first in the Andorra cinema – the one founded by the great Finnish directors Mika and Aki Kaurismäki. Some who have seen our film say Neil's humour is Kaurasmäki-like. A welcome Finnish compliment.
After the screenings, audience members offer to show the film on the Global Awareness Day for MND/ALS, even though it will coincide with Midsummer when every Finn goes wild in the country. Others say after the film they went and had a beer “for Neil”.
Sometimes I feel sharing this film with an audience is more of a séance than a screening. In that dark space of the cinema, Neil seems to come to life beyond the film itself. He is almost alarmingly present in a way which surprises me.
For everybody who wasn't able to come to the first two screenings at IDFA in Amsterdam where the filmmakers were present, here is a video of a question & answer session with directors Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon; Louise Platt who was Neil's wife; and producer Sonja Henrici. It was recorded after the second public screening on Sunday.
At the world premiere of I AM BREATHING in Amsterdam, filmmakers Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon (pictured) together with producer Sonja Henrici announced plans for an outreach campaign leading to a Global Screening Day of the documentary on 21 June 2013, coinciding with the Global MND/ALS Awareness Day.
Neil Platt was all too aware that one of the major preventatives to finding a cure for MND was lack of funding for research. Neil had lost both his grandfather and his father to the same strain of familial MND that he then suffered from.
Following his diagnosis he began a campaign to raise awareness and ultimately funding for MND. He wanted the film, the website, his blog and all the other publicity that he tirelessly committed to before he died to create a storm around MND which would result in further research.
Emma and Morag have created this film for Neil, and we want to use it to begin a dialogue with the thousands of people that Neil intended to reach out to.
You can help make it happen. Please consider making a contribution on our secure page, also directly supporting the work of the MND Association.
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has announced its 2012 programme today, including four productions involving the Scottish Documentary Institute.
I AM BREATHING by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon will have its world premiere in IDFA’s prestigious Competition for Feature-Length Documentary. IDFA is the world’s pre-eminent festival for creative documentaries.
Exploring “the thin space between life and death”, the film follows Neil Platt who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal illness affecting around 5,000 people in the UK. Neil invited the filmmakers to follow him through his final months, while he’s trying to sum up his life in a message to his baby son.