After years of work and hundreds of hours of footage, Jen Brea’s documentary, now entitled Unrest, is ready for its debut. The film will be shown at the Sundance Resort as part of the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017; Brea’s Unrest was selected to premier as one of the Festival’s narrative documentaries. The Sundance Film Festival has introduced audiences to compelling films such as Boyhood Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Brooklyn. The Sundance Institute is a nonprofit founded by Robert Redford in 1981 to provide a space for new artists to create and show their work. “I’m thrilled and honored that this documentary film is launching at Sundance,” Director and Producer Brea said.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]While Unrest is a deeply personal story, its universality is compelling: at its heart, Brea’s story is one of resilience, determination, and hope. [/pullquote]
Jennifer Brea was studying for her PhD at Harvard when she first began experiencing the symptoms of ME. Despite marked difficulties with speech and motor function, her physician told her that she likely had conversion disorder: that her symptoms were due to a trauma she could not even recall. It was then that Brea started filming her experiences, eventually deploying crews globally to document a few of the millions whom the medical profession had left behind.
Unrest tells the story of Jen and her husband, Omar, as they face the challenges and upheavals of a life suddenly redefined by disability. It also shows how ME has affected other patients and their families in the UK, Denmark, and the United States, and the physicians and researchers who work with them, including Nancy Klimas and Ron Davis. While Unrest is a deeply personal story, its universality is compelling: at its heart, Brea’s story is one of resilience, determination, and hope.
Unrest was only possible through Brea’s Kickstarter campaign with over 2,500 individual backers, as well as support from Impact Partners, the William F. Harnisch Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, BRITDOC’s Good Pitch, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Fledgling Fund, IFP, Women in Film Los Angeles, and the Sundance Institute. The documentary could have floundered without the individual support of patients, patient advocates, physicians and clinicians and researchers who pitched in to make it possible. Thank you!
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