Let's take this show on the road!
Immediately after our SXSW screenings, Unrest made its international and European premiere in Copenhagen, Denmark, at CPH:DOX, one of the leading festivals for documentary film in the world.
Jen and Omar attended the festival — Jen's first time traveling internationally since she got sick — and had the opportunity to meet Ketty Hansen, mother of Karina Hansen, a young Danish ME patient who three years ago was forcibly removed from her home by police in order to undergo psychiatric treatment for her ME.
In the 24 hours before our premiere, articles about Unrest, ME, and Karina Hansen appeared in three different major Danish newspapers: Politiken, Weekendavisen, and Information. Jen also appeared on the popular Danish television program DR2 Dagen, discussing her experience with ME and the making of the film. This is a major reset of the conversation in Denmark, one we hope will reverberate throughout Scandinavia.
After the screenings, we spoke with doctors who pledged to become allies and bring this film to medical school campuses. Patients and caregivers spoke of feeling seen and represented. We felt a clear sense of community transcending language, culture, or country.
The list of festivals we'll be screening at is ever-growing. We just screened the film at the RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina, where we took home the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we'll be screening the film at the Florida Film Festival (Jen's hometown festival!), Nashville Film Festival, Louisiana Int'l Film Festival, and many more. Each of these festivals provides new audiences, new visibility, and new opportunities to shape the narrative around ME patients, chronic illness, and invisible disabilities. Here's what North Carolina's Triad City Beat had to say about Unrest in their preview coverage of RiverRun:
Brea knits together a global community in a way that is beautiful and empowering. Her voice lifts a film that is both charged with urgency and slowed down to the speed of a disease that freezes lives in place while the world seems to pass by. “Sickness doesn’t terrify me, and death doesn’t terrify me,” Brea says. “What terrifies me is that you can disappear because someone’s telling the wrong story about you.”
We’ll also be screening at Hot Docs in Toronto later this month. Hot Docs is North America's largest documentary film festival, conference, and market, and we're honored to be making our Canadian premiere there. Soon after, we'll head west to DOXA in Vancouver. We're keeping busy!
For a full list of upcoming screenings, visit our website or our Facebook events page.
We're so excited for all that's to come. Thank you for everything you've done to support this journey. We could never have done it without you - and this is only the beginning!