In this joy-filled personal documentary, Arlieta has gone against all popular advice and quit her day job to care for her father, Milton. She has to learn how to laugh in the midst of a disease that is not very funny, using improv to affirm and validate his experiences. Inspired by her father’s own artistic career, Arlieta turns to comedy to process her emotions. It’s challenging for her and her “bonus mom” Charmaine to watch Milton decline, but they support each other and find healing through laughter. While Milton declines, Arlieta’s artistic career advances. She tries to keep Milton happy and comfortable even as the pandemic forces her to give up independence and move back in with Milton and Charmaine.
We are proud to say that for two years in a row we have been chosen for an Individual Artists Program grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
We were one of ten projects selected to participate in The Gotham Lab (formerly IFP), which offers mentorship to first time feature documentary filmmakers. This is important industry recognition for our film! That means we will also participate in the Gotham Week Project Market Spotlight on Documentaries in September.
Check out this lovely feature on co-director and protagonist Arlieta Hall from one of the top Chicago newspapers.
We are the perfect people to make this film because Arlieta uses stand up comedy to encourage the art of storytelling to break the silence of Alzheimer's. The improvisation and empathy that Arlieta exhibits with Milton gives the audience multiple methods to apply in their own lives. Brittany has the story telling expertise and access required to bring to light both the often frightening face of Alzheimer's and the grace of Arlieta’s home, combining them into a compelling film. We take the viewer on an Alzheimer's journey, showing how the disease affects the entire family and how it’s up to the family to embrace and adjust to the shocking changes caused by this disease
(Executive Producer, Director, Protagonist) is a Improviser, Stand Up Comedian, First Time Filmmaker, who believes that through communication we can solve, guide, create, grow, and heal another. https://arlietahall.com
(Producer, Director, Cinematographer) is a queer, feminist, anti-racist filmmaker who believes in the healing power of storytelling and art that represents the outsider experience. She has made short documentaries for hire and her fiction shorts have screened at festivals across the US and in India. This is her first feature. http://brittanyalsot.com
(Editor) We're so excited to have hired Donnie to be on our team. Donnie is a director, producer, editor and writer with Digife, a video production company based in Chicago. As a photojournalism graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Seals was able to evolve from still photography to film. He's spent over ten years as an editor and commercial producer with KVVU-TV in Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, he developed and produced the digital documentary series "The Season" which followed the controversial high school basketball powerhouse Findlay Prep. Donnie’s filmography includes the music documentary Making Skybreak and The Takeover, a film about 100 Northwestern University students who peacefully occupied the Bursar's Office to protest the black student experience in 1968. He’s recently edited Hulu/Kartemquin Accelerator Program director Resita Cox's film Freedom Hill. He is a 2022 Diverse Voices in Docs Fellow at Kartemquin.
“This team out of the Chi have found a way to laugh in a healthy, cathartic way from facing the all too real battle of dementia on the home front.” - Dave Woods, Producer, 8th Cinema
"I laughed and I cried and I really cared." - Yvonne Welbon, Sisters in Cinema
Meet Arlieta and find out how she is caring for herself and her dad using improv
Dementia RAW podcast with Tami Neumann and Cathy Braxton - Arlieta talks to the teachers who taught her to use improv for caregiving. They reflect on flexibility and the challenges of staying in the moment.
Arlieta is Spotlighted for being a caregiving hero and discusses how 2020 forced her to become a full-time live in caregiver.
We are so excited about the positive impact of making this project, but we can’t do it alone. If this project speaks to you--if you’ve been affected by Alzheimer’s, if you know the joys and challenges of caregiving--please reach out to us. We are looking to connect with like-minded partners to creatively and strategically expand the reach of our film.