This is a photograph of me and my great friend and director of photography Patrick McLaughlin capturing a sunset in Tofino, British Columbia.
One of the reasons I became a filmmaker was to be able to experience these beautiful moments and to share them with people through documentaries. It has been a wonderful career.
However, filming “Living Proof” wasn’t as pleasant as this moment on the beach. It was a challenging, painful and disturbing process.
But, despite the struggles and the drama, we were able to find the beauty in the people we met and the hope they shared.
We interviewed patients, families and some of the world’s top doctors. Conducting the interviews was an incredible honour and I was fortunate to make new friends in doing so.
In the end, the interview subjects, doctors, experts, advisers and production team created an award-winning documentary that sold out theatres at TIFF and is now weeks away from screens in Canada and the US.
And, most importunately, we created a documentary that shares hope and pertinent science-based information that MS patients and their families should be aware of!
And so, I find it unsettling that as “Living Proof” is about to reach wider audiences, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has asked it’s members not to promote the film through their self-help groups.
I also find it odd that the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society has declined an invitation to appear on a panel with two of Canada’s top journalists after a special screening of “Living Proof” at Hot Doc’s Ted Rogers theatre on January 29, 2017.
Is the documentary critical of the MS Society of Canada? Yes. But if the content in the documentary is incorrect, then why not address the inaccuracies in an objective public forum to which you have been invited?
Or, if the science-based information and hope is correct in the documentary, why not share it with your members?
It appears to me that with the release of “Living Proof” the MS Societies in Canada and the US would prefer to have their members, like me and Patrick after the sun set in Tofino, in the dark.