Cinema for a Cure offers Foreverland sneak peek and The Power of Two B.C. premiere
After65_RedRoses, you can be certain that most people around these parts are aware of Eva Markvoort’s brave but harrowing struggle with cystic fibrosis. As Martina Meckova notes, 65_RedRoses was a movie that exemplified the power of cinema to inform, educate, and inspire, which is why the executive director of the Vancouver–Lower Mainland chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada is delighted to be previewing two new films for CF Awareness Month.
One of those films, the locally shot feature Foreverland, starring Juliette Lewis, was the runner-up for audience fave at the Whistler Film Festival last year. “We are just thrilled,” Meckova told the Straight. “I actually worked with [director] Max [McGuire] and his team at Screen Siren Pictures last year when they were filming in Vancouver. Some of the props were given directly from Cystic Fibrosis Canada during the filming—I can’t wait to see it.”
McGuire himself was diagnosed with the degenerative lung disease as a child, and he’ll be in attendance for a talk after his film—which stars Max Thieriot as a CF patient who takes his friend’s ashes to a shrine in Mexico—unspools at Cinema for a Cure, at the Denman Cinemas on Saturday (May 5).
Prior to that, filmmaker Marc Smolowitz will also hold a Q & A when Cinema for a Cure gives his documentary The Power of Two its long-awaited B.C. premiere. Smolowitz’s film focuses on twin sisters Ana Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, both of whom survived their dual battle with CF—one of the most common fatal inherited diseases that affects young people in North America—and the long wait for double-lung transplants. “We’ve been meaning to bring it to Vancouver for quite some time,” Meckova said. “It’s gained a huge amount of popularity on three continents. I think it just works out real well with the timing and the fact that we can create a mini CF movie festival for us to kick off May, which is CF Awareness Month.”
Besides focusing on the importance of donor organs, The Power of Two raised other issues that have surfaced as the life expectancy of CF patients has lengthened.
“Fifty years ago, when Cystic Fibrosis Canada started [then called the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation], children would not live long enough to go to kindergarten,” Meckova said. “Now, because of the investment in research, we are seeing people living into their forties and longer. Because now we have more adults actually living with CF than children, there are other side effects of the disease that have not been common before; it creates another level of complexity. So we need to raise a lot more money. We’ve done a great job, but there’s a lot of work still to be done.”