8 October 2011

World Premiere of Voices from the Shadows

Today, Saturday 8th October 2011, sees the world premiere of Voices from the Shadows - a ground-breaking documentary film about ME at Mill Valley Film Festival in California.

By special arrangement with Mill Valley and in cooperation with MUBA, those in North America can watch the film on-line, free of charge, until 30th October, but you will not be able to download it for later viewing. Two UK screenings in Norwich and London in December have been arranged by Invest in ME. Please click here for details.

We believe that viewers may find this film intensely moving, compelling and also informative, but please be warned that it may be tough to watch if you have severe ME yourself as it brings home the heart-rending reality of the illness.

Please also note that it is not suitable for viewing by children with ME.

The film has been made by the brother and mother of a severe ME sufferer. Josh Biggs is a professional freelance editor and cameraman. Natalie Boulton was an artist/teacher and is a full time carer for her daughter who has been ill for over 20 years. Both are first-time directors and producers. The music for the film was written and kindly donated by Emmy-nominated composer David Poore. 

"Voices from the Shadows is the most important and significant film on pediatric ME that has ever been produced" – Prof. Leonard Jason.

The film foregrounds the riveting stories of several British families confronting what must be everyone's worst nightmare: a loved one suffering a life-altering illness that leaves him or her bedridden and in constant pain, with no apparent cure.

But what if the medical establishment made the situation worse instead of better? Such are the heartbreaking circumstances of the under-reported controversy surrounding ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), aka chronic fatigue syndrome.

First-hand accounts from patients, caretakers, and medical experts paint a shockingly confused state of affairs—and underscore the urgency and frustration around this issue. A call to action for anyone who cares about the health and well-being of their community, this powerful film is equally a tribute to those whose voices must be heard
—Atissa Manshouri

Presented in association with UN Association Film Festival

There will be a panel discussion following the screening with invited guests:

David Tuller, lecturer, Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, frequent contributor to The New York Times.

Natalie Boulton, filmmaker, Voices from the Shadows
Dr. Jose Montoya, associate professor Stanford School of Medicine

Screening: Sat. Oct 8th, 2011 @ 2:00 PM - Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael, CA.

Running time: 63
Country: UK
Category: DOCS
Directed by: Natalie Boulton and Josh Biggs
Directors/Producers/Editors: Natalie Boulton, Josh Biggs
Cinematographer: Josh Biggs

From film festival website.


Voices from the Shadows is now available for those in USA and Canada to view online on MUBI and for those in UK/Europe, Australia and New Zealand to buy on DVD.  You can watch the trailer here.

To raise awareness, you could send these links to your MP or political representatives, your doctors and medical team, any other professionals you have personal contact with in education or social services, as well as local and national media.

Voices from Shadows is a development from the highly-recommended book Lost Voices.