In 2019 we released our trailer for our documentary with the intention that 2020 would be the year we would share it. Little did we know how hard that would end up being.
We were having a very exciting 2019 with screenings, Q & A’s and speaking engagements, all for awareness of Rett Syndrome. 2020 had more promise with the biggest of the festivals the film was set to screen in, happening over the course of the entire year. For an independent film, film festivals are usually the best way to get seen. We truly wanted to bring awareness to Rett Syndrome through our story. In 2019 we had about a dozen lined up and another dozen set for 2020. We had put our time, money and hearts into making the documentary. It was hard but we knew it was worth it. It is a story worth telling and the hope is it would have an impact on audiences, future donors, and provide some solace for likeminded families. Then, well you know what happened. A global pandemic. Everything shut down. Film festivals came to a screeching halt. Traveling to screen the documentary and speak about Rett Syndrome, all came to a full stop. A few months into the pandemic, we started getting emails from festivals wanting to screen online. But an online screening was going to have to be on our terms – in a way that could drive people to the cause, and not just to the festival.
We also realized the community that wants to see our documentary should be able to see it. And with everyone locked in at home, there would be no better opportunity to make that possible. So we decided to share our documentary in a way that would be accessible for as many people as possible.
We are so happy with the outcome and we can’t thank all of you enough for watching, sharing, and engaging with our story and our little film. We got into the “news” a lot for our little film and are so grateful for the awareness it’s brought to our our little rare disease.
Before you scroll down to see and possibly read all of the press our little documentary had, here is a cute pic of Mags in the middle of our family hug. What a love bug. She’s our reason that we keep going. Thanks for still supporting her and our cause. Now scroll down to see the press….
We are including all of the press that covered and celebrities that shared our documentary. We are so thankful, for all everyone that stepped up to talk about our documentary on their own social media platform.
We were interviewed by the Today Show and they also asked me to write an article about our experience. Check that out here…
“Sonstein Sessions AJ Tesler” by Shelli Sonstein
TINSELTOWN MOM PODCAST
We even attracted the attention of some big time people
We have been talking to speech pathology programs and nonprofits around the country in order to speak and bring awareness to Rett Syndrome. UConn, Vanderbilt, Oregon, GWU, Messiah U, amongst other have expressed interest in making the documentary part of the curicculum for their speech students. Can you imagine? Not having to train a speech therapist in Rett Syndrome, because they actually learned about it in school?
Even in a global pandemic, people wanted to learn about our story, about Rett Syndrome. So many want to do better for families, for complex kids, for rare disease. It makes my heart swell. Filmmaking can be a beautiful artistic experience but honestly filmmaking can sometimes show a rare and beautiful life and I’m happy to have done just that. Magnolia’s life.
If you didn’t get to see the film, DVDs for home dvd players (does anyone still have one of those) are available for purchase on Amazon now. We are working on getting it to people easier, and in ways that will hopefully continue to drive donations.
If you still want to donate you can do that at rettgive.org/magnolias-hope. We are very close to crossing that $100k benchmark there and would love your help.
If you want to screen the film in your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make that happen
If you work for Netflix and want to share our documentary – it is available for a verrrry nominal license fee….
If you made it all the way to this part of this post, THANK YOU. Also, a little news for you – on February 9th we are going to be sharing the “sequel” to our documentary on youtube.com/magnoliashope – all about how we have survived the pandemic and done everything we could to keep our kids safe and thriving. I hope you’ll check that one out.