Who did you nominate for the Ice Bucket Challenge this past summer, before dumping a bucket of ice cold water on yourself? If you didn't, did you end up donating instead? Chances are high that you heard about and/or participated in the ALS challenge, which swept the social media world, raising well over $100 million.
The challenge aimed to raise funds and create awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder, commonly known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease. It drew the attention of many, from the general public, to athletes, to celebrities, and much more, creating one of the most successful fundraisers we have ever experienced.
However, as it brought in mountain-high funding for research, the awareness component about the actual disorder didn't reach as many individuals as anticipated. Yes, people donated to the cause, but not everyone took the time to actually learn about it. I, myself, am guilty of that action. Fortunately, a short film about the disorder is being produced, by a group of Chapman University students, to fill in the knowledge gaps of what ALS is and how those affected by it live on a daily basis.
Estimated to be a 10 minute short film, Adagio is based on a protagonist, "who loses a connection with her father after they lose their ability to play the piano together as his disease manifests. She transitions from a daughter to a caretaker role. The two ultimately learn more about each other than they ever anticipated."
The story line transitions back and forth from piano rehearsals that the protagonist participates in, starting from a young age, with her father in the audience. As she grows older and her father's health weakens, the film paints a picture of what life looks like for families that are taking care of a loved one with ALS. As expressed, the students' "goal is to create an authentic, genuine story about the evolution of a father and daughter relationship after he is diagnosed with ALS. We are drawing upon the inspirational and incredible stories of the families we have met with ALS and aspire to incorporate each one of them into our film."
I was able to speak with Adagio's producer, Mikaela Burton, about the vision they have for the film and why they decided to pursue the topic. She noted that the passion behind the film is drawn from individual experiences that a few of her team members have had previously with ALS. It also comes from meeting with certain families and wanting to share their stories. They hope that the film will generate further awareness about the disorder and how the lives of not only the individuals with ALS, but their caretakers change overtime.
Adagio has the potential of helping the momentum ,that the ALS Bucket Challenge created, keep going. By creating a fictional story, yet implementing actual situations that are ALS related, Adagio will have the opportunity to both educate and make a connection with its audience. Depending on its initial success, Adagio may find itself at film festivals around the country.
Overall, producing a film to drive further awareness about ALS POPs.
Adagio's Campaign Page