Jennifer, a Harvard PhD student, was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors told her it was “all in her head,” she picked up her camera to document the world of millions of patients medicine forgot. Unrest tells the stories of Jen and Omar, newlyweds facing the unexpected, and four other families. Together, they fight to live in spite of the world’s most prevalent orphan disease. Canary (working title) is made by an award-winning team and is supported by the Harnisch Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, BRITDOC’s Good Pitch, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Fledgling Fund, Firelight Media, IFP, the Sundance Institute, and over 2,500 backers. It will premiere in 2017.
For moderate to severe patients, living with ME is like living with late-stage cancer, advanced stage AIDS, or congestive heart failure for decades. Due to lack of awareness about ME, and the lack of funding the disease receives within our major health agencies and institutions 80-90% of people suffering from ME are undiagnosed. Worse, patients are often misdiagnosed with other conditions, or told that their severe disabilities are made up.
Unrest offers firsthand insight into what it feels like to live with this debilitating disease and provides a pathway to action and through #MEAction, a new and more robust platform for advocacy efforts surrounding ME. The film has the power to propel the campaign arm of the project — the #MillionsMissing movement — to not only raise awareness, but also to catalyze change through audience engagement and sustained opportunities for action.
We are currently working with filmmaker, social scientist, advocate, and TED Fellow, Jennifer Brea — and her team — to develop a strategic plan in advance of the premiere of her upcoming feature documentary film, Unrest. In addition to the strategic plan, are providing general strategic consulting and partner relationship development support.