For Immediate Release: January 19, 2008
Contact: Darla Rae 720-620-0536
Denver, CO – Film It Productions, Inc. and Director Darla Rae today announced the overwhelmingly positive response to the January 17th private screening of Ms. Rae’s new documentary “Dandy Kids”. “Dandy Kids” tells the story of Ms. Rae’s great nephew, Hunter, who was diagnosed before birth with Dandy Walker Syndrome, a brain malformation of the cerebellum, leading to a variety of health concerns, including autism, heart problems, and spina bifida. While making the film, Ms. Rae came into contact with thousands of families, worldwide, whose children have also been diagnosed with Dandy Walker Syndrome. As part of the film, Ms. Rae interviewed several of those families, as well as doctors and researchers knowledgeable about Dandy Walker Syndrome, and (R) US Congresswoman Heather Wilson and (D) US Congressman Chris Van Hollen, co-sponsors of House Congressional Resolution 163 which directs the NIH to use already allocated funds to research the causes of and treatments for Dandy Walker Syndrome.
The private screening was held in Denver, CO for the families who participated in making the film, members of the press, and benefactors of “Dandy Kids”. Eric Cole, Founder of the Dandy Walker Alliance, said, “What you’ve done is to bring together families in a forum that never existed before. You’ve provided hope for a community where there previously was none”.
Ms. Rae, the director of the award winning feature film “The Goal”, said, “I am so moved by the families’ response to “Dandy Kids”. I set out to tell the story of my great nephew, Hunter, and how his diagnosis of Dandy Walker Syndrome affected our family, but the film turned out to be so much more once the other families became involved. It means so much to me to finally meet them in person and to know that they are happy with the way I’ve told their stories.”
Nashville recording artist, originally from Gadsden, AL, Laura Dodd, whose song “Song Bird” was written for the film was in attendance and performed prior to the screening. Ms. Dodd spoke after the screening about how moved she was, and thanked Ms. Rae for making a film that will help so many families connect with each other and get the help and resources they need.
The film was introduced by Colorado Film Commissioner, Kevin Shand, who spoke about the history of filmmaking in Colorado and the need to support independent filmmakers like Ms. Rae and films like “Dandy Kids”.
Leigh Ann Hubbard, managing editor of “James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor”, said, “I was privileged to see “Dandy Kids” at the sneak preview last night The movie begins with Darla Rae recounting a phone call from her pregnant niece: Her child is missing part of his brain. Doctors are encouraging her to terminate. The disorder is called Dandy Walker syndrome. Soon, we are invited into intimate conversations of other parents of kids with the rare disorder. Through interviews with doctors, researchers and parents, “Dandy Kids” explores these questions, all the while drawing us into what it must be like to be faced with the awesome responsibility of researching your child’s disorder because even your own doctors don’t know about it. At the end of the film last night, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And yet, it wasn’t depressing. It was hopeful.”