The Society sponsored two screenings of Jennifer Brea's documentary film, Unrest, at the DOXA International Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver. The festival scheduled our screenings for May 12 (evening) and May 13 (noon), which fit perfectly with our May awareness raising plans. They also included our logo and information on their website and in printed material, as well as screening short theatre ads for the Society throughout their weekend screenings. We were able to use the ticket packages we were given as sponsors, as prizes for our GoFundMe campaign, making this an excellent investment over all.
The first screening, on May 12th, was sold out, and the second screening on the following day was packed. Jennifer Brea joined the audience at the end of the second screening for a Q&A over Skype. It was great to see this wonderful advocate and filmmaker live, answering questions just after watching her very moving film.
Society volunteers manned a table at each event, speaking with interested audience members, as well as touching base with local patients who had gone to great lengths to attend the screenings. The film has clearly drawn interest and made an impact on those who had never heard of ME. Larry Dawe ensured that everyone received an awareness ribbon and learnt about the Society’s mission and goals.
UBC Med Students Join Us
Inspired by Society member Kati Debelic’s donation of 4 tickets to sponsor the attendance of UBC medical students at the screenings, the Society committed to give tickets to any medical students who applied. We managed to give away a total of 10 tickets. Second year UBC students Rachael Houlton, Perneet Sekhon and Caleb Dusdal attended the screening and were so moved, they have volunteered to join our committee to work on screening "Unrest" to UBC medical student audiences throughout BC, as part of the Unrest impact campaign #TimeForUnrest . Let us know if you would also like to help out. We'll keep you posted on our developments.
Impacted by the film and the plight of ME patients, Parneet has also taken on writing an article, "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: North American Medical School Curriculum Coverage", with a particular focus on Canada. This will be incredibly useful for Canadian advocacy work.
A big thanks to Liz Tevaarwerk for reaching out to DOXA to screen Unrest, for donating so many spoons to organize, plan, write and edit for the events, and for giving such a wonderful presentation before the second screening. Her efforts were truly herculean given how impacted she is by her illness.
Thanks to Ann Vrlak for bringing her professional design and writing skills to the campaign, and to Michele Sherstan for all her help with writing and editing, and to Katherine Tevaarwerk for assisting with Project Management. It takes a surprising amount of time to prepare all the verbiage that goes into marketing and promotions, all those Facebook and Twitter posts and eMailouts. We had a wonderful writing team, and we encourage anyone with writing skills to please step forward and help with current and future campaigns.
Impact with Don Shafer, on Roundhouse Radio 98.3: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (June 20, 2017)
The DOXA screening also inspired Don Shafer of Roundhouse Radio to interview Jennifer Brea and our very own Liz Tevaarwerk. They talk about their disease, what makes it unusual, and what’s being and needs to be done to help in BC and beyond.
Thanks so much to Liz Tevaarwerk (again!), Jen Brea (and again!), Unrest, Don Shafer, Anne Watson and Roundhouse Radio.