|Huntington’s Dance interview subject Gene Furbee (L) and film director Chris Furbee|
Did you hear that loud cheer last Friday morning? Maybe your floor shook a little bit? That was the CIRM staff celebrating a big win for Huntington’s disease (HD) patient advocate Chris Furbee and the HD community in general.
This past week, Chris’ autobiographical film “Huntington’s Dance” won the 2014 Slamdance Jury Special Mention for Most Compelling Personal Journey. You can watch a trailer of the movie on YouTube. And here’s a short synopsis of the movie from the Slamdance website:
The story of one man’s reckoning with his family’s brutal, hereditary disease: Huntington’s Disease. This first person account brings the viewer intimately into their lives. We see his denial, his mother’s death, his grappling with being tested and his eventual diagnosis. His path from caretaker, to victim to activist is tracked in a unique diary fashion over the course of 18 years.
I first met Chris in 2010 when we featured him in our short video about Huntington’s and stem cell research. In the midst of that video interview, I learned that he himself was a filmmaker and he showed me some clips of the documentary that he hoped to eventually finish and get financed.
So it was exciting enough to blog two weeks ago about the completed film’s acceptance into the top-rate Slamdance film festival that runs in parallel with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Now I’m over-the-moon to learn of this jury prize.
Congratulations Chris for achieving recognition for an 18 year journey to tell your story and raise awareness about Huntingon’s disease!
To learn about CIRM-funded stem cell research related to Huntington’s disease, visit our HD fact sheet.