Executive Producer Susan Pelzer on brain injury film

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I’m unsentimental to a fault. (Unless it’s about cats. Lots of sentimentality around cats! Sorry, Brandon.) So when someone donates to fund this film, it’s easy to assume oh, they just donated cuz they’re being nice. The donation may be nice, and it also reflects a belief that what we’re working on means something to that donor. I certainly see the value in creating a beautiful documentary from within the brain injury community. So I’m extremely touched that the pool of people interested in this film is growing and growing.

As you may know, we currently are seeking sponsors, either individuals or businesses. You can donate $1 or $10,000 or anything that suits you. In return, you can ask me to blog about you and your business, put you on both of my streaming radio shows, and whatever else I can do to support you if you can take the leap to help fund this film. See? Unsentimental, but hopefully generous and fair.

What are we seeking to fund at the moment:

  • Renting professional recording studio time to record Brandon Michael Scarth and Dani Sanderson performing their original music and lyrics
  • Filming several more days of creating art, going about daily life and family life
  • Editing the final movie this summer

I now turn it over to Executive Producer Susan Pelzer (who’s also my mom) to talk about why she chose to support the film at the Executive Producer level when we started in 2012. It’s not only because she’s nice.

“As a medical expert for the Office of Disability, Adjudication and Review, I read medical files and offer my opinion to an administrative law judge on a person’s mental capacity to sustain work. Cheryl’s first film, “Cooking with Brain Injury” offered me a perspective on the lived experience of a person with TBI that was not conveyed in any textbook on neuropathology. My first reaction was to laugh and cry at the same time when I watched it. Her films have brought into focus the importance of acknowledging the humanity in people with hidden disabilities.

Cheryl introduced me to Kris Haas–featured in “Who Am I To Stop It”–during my visit to Portland about two years ago. As a clinician I could see Kris’s struggles with organization and social interaction. Cheryl asked me to see her artistic expression of the world she experiences as an artist. I was struck by the intensity of her work and her dedication to be who she was in the moment. Cheryl also introduced me to the creative works of Caitlin Wood and Lavaun Heaster. I am looking forward to meeting them in person on my next visit.

When Cheryl told me about the initial fundraising for her documentary about artists with brain injuries I was excited about supporting her film. Of course I want her to succeed, but beyond that I believe that Cheryl’s work will challenge assumptions many hold about disability.”