Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fort Myers Film Festival Opens Tonight

Alive Inside: A Story Of Music And Memory Featured Film Tonight

FORT MYERS, FL. -- The Fort Myers Film Festival will be held March 19-23 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Theatre, with parties and dinners at Twisted Vine Bistro, a filmmakers lodge at Firestone, and breakfast panels at Bennett’s Fresh Roast and other select venues.

Opening-night festivities begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. The event will begin with the red carpet rolling out, paparazzi snapping photos, drinks, mingling and musical entertainment. After a warm welcome from the night's hosts Stephanie Davis, Chad Oliver and Mayor Randy Henderson, the movie starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19 for general admission. 

The opening-night film for the fourth annual Fort Myers Film Festival, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory," is an award-winning independent film about music therapy with Alzheimer’s patients.Last month, the film drew the Sundance audience award for U.S. documentaries.

“Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory" reveals a music-based breakthrough that has already transformed lives. Spearheaded by social worker Dan Cohen and captured on camera over the course of three years by filmmaker Michael Rossato Bennett, it shows viewers how songs from a patient’s past can awaken memories and emotions that have been asleep for years, sometimes decades.

Within a moment of hearing “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, Alzheimer’s patient Marylou jolts back to life, dancing around the living room and expressing a euphoria her husband hasn’t witnessed since her illness took effect. Countless instances in the film provide proof that music stimulates activity in dementiaaffected parts of the brain and transforms the quality of life of those often left to languish in silence.

Through revealing conversations with renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, as well as powerful firsthand experiments conducted by Mr. Cohen in nursing homes, this groundbreaking documentary demonstrates how connecting the elderly to the music they love not only combats memory loss but also supplements a broken health-care system often indifferent to interpersonal connections.

Film programming runs Thursday- Sunday, March 20-12, at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.Films are $7. The festival wraps up with a champagne and dessert awards ceremony hosted by Chad Oliver Sunday, 
March 23, at the Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers. Tickets are $15.

For more information on all the films and events, visit www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com.

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