A new film spotlighting the effects of Alzheimer’s disease is set to make its debut on August 29th in Minneapolis.
His Neighbor Phil, produced by My Town Pictures, tells the story of Harvey and his wife Mary, who suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Mary’s memory loss and seeming obsession with their neighbor makes Harvey question his marriage. Through a touching twist, Harvey discovers the secret to bringing his beloved Mary back into the present.
The moving film stars several well-known actors, including Stephanie Zimbalist (“Remington Steele”), Daniel Roebuck (“The Fugitive”, “Lost”, “Glee”), Ellen Dolan (“As the World Turns”) and Oscar nominee Sally Kellerman (“M*A*S*H”).
Written and directed by Scott Thompson, His Neighbor Phil also highlights the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on the family as a whole, not just the primary caregiver. His Neighbor Phil will debut Saturday, August 29th at a private screening at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis.
The film not only was produced in the small town of Zumbrota, Minnesota, but citizens of Zumbrota banded together to fund the majority of the film, provide meals and lodging to the cast and crew, and even had local actors take significant roles in the movie itself.
The production also was funded significantly by a coalition of Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory care related agencies including principal sponsor SYNERGY HomeCare, a national non-medical in-home care franchise organization. Additional funding and enormous support came from HealthStar Home Health and Alzheimer’s Speaks, where the idea to form a coalition of sponsors began. The Lutheran Home Association and Saint Therese senior care and communities were also key parts of the coalition dedicated to bringing this movie and its important message to the public.
Healthcare experts weigh in on His Neighbor Phil:
"This moving film shows the need for family and friends to rally together to help each other deal with Alzheimer’s disease, motivates our researchers to continue to develop promising treatments and methods of prevention and emphasizes the necessity to support research at centers such as ours.” - William H. Frey II, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Research Director, HealthPartners Center for Memory & Aging
“His Neighbor Phil” is a love story wrapped up in the complexity of a disease that shows no mercy. It’s real. It’s raw and yet through all of the trials and tribulations, it provides hope." - Josie Di Chiara, Senior Vice President, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
“Alzheimer's doesn’t just impact the affected; the disease takes a devastating toll on caregivers and the family as a whole. “His Neighbor Phil” accurately depicts that impact. It may provide some validation for Alzheimer’s patients and families and help them realize they’re not alone.” – Peter Tourian, Founder and CEO of SYNERGY HomeCare
“His Neighbor Phil” is indeed a great film and right on the money for accuracy in typical ‘key players’ and behaviors, reactions, approaches, beliefs, and common concerns regarding dementia. I am sure ‘first timers’ as well as those who have made their journey will resonate with the film allowing new conversations to happen, awareness to grow, and belief that we can CHOOSE to make a positive difference in how people living with dementia are able to live their lives.” - Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA Dementia Care & Training Specialist
“And also as someone who was diagnosed with dementia myself 7 years ago aged just 50 it resonated and touched me so much. It’s so refreshing to see such a positive ending at the end when many of these films are not. It’s a film not only for carers, but also for those with early to mid-stage dementia to enjoy. It’s also a story of hope and important family values, through thick and thin times, thoroughly enjoyable.” Norrms Mc Namara, Diagnosed with dementia (at age 50) seven years ago and STILL FIGHTINGIT! Founder of the Global Purple Angel dementia awareness Campaign
"I LOVED this film...there were so many relatable, funny, poignant, humorous, heartbreaking and hopeful moments all captured within the fabric of a single family trying to stay connected to each other and their community through the power of music and love. You will recognize your loved one, your family, your friends and yourself somewhere in this film. I laughed, cried, cringed and cheered. It's a must-see!" Mara Botonis, Author of When Caring Takes Courage and the recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award