AN EMAIL FROM LOUISE OSWALD

To all supporters of I AM BREATHING – on the eve of Global Screening Day

Dear Kevin

Ok, I’m really speaking from the heart now… Tomorrow is Friday 21st June, and I no longer have the luxury of time to pour over each word I say carefully!

Thanks to your efforts and enthusiasm for I AM BREATHING, tomorrow is going to be the most successful MND/ALS Global Awareness Campaign the Motor Neurone Disease Association has ever been involved in, so I feel like ‘doing a Neil’ and jumping up and down like an excited child as I shout out ‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!’

Together, we have all managed to make the media sit up and listen and for once acknowledge the existence of this devastating disease.

This has been an enormous joint effort, starting with Neil and his willingness to share, then the huge risk that directors Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon took in convincing funders to back the project, and their sheer determination to see it through and do such a good job that the film is now being credited as one of the most successful documentaries this year. It’s a testament to Emma and Morag that people are already talking about this film not as a campaign film about motor neurone disease, but as a film about life. People are beginning to WANT to watch a film about a man dying with motor neurone disease, this is an amazing achievement!

The team at the Scottish Documentary Institute took this film into their hearts and had the ingenuity to create an event around it in a way that has never been attempted before. It is their talent and forward thinking that has created the media profile for the film. What you most likely won’t realise is that the team are a small number, who have worked late into the night to see this event is successful, not knowing at the beginning how many of you would also take this project in to your hearts.

And now, thanks to all the hosts, this ‘mild spring breeze of a campaign’ has become genuinely global, at the last count I saw 168 screenings in every continent (apart from Antarctica!). I am Amazed!

Global Day hosts, please feel free to share this message with every viewer who has agreed to watch I AM BREATHING – you’re welcome to quote from it when you introduce a screening. I know it’s not an easy subject and not really how most people would agree to spend precious free time, but my biggest wish is that you take with you Neil’s courage and lust for life when you leave after the screening. Talk about the film to everyone and anyone who will listen… use your voice.

It’s not an easy film to watch, of course it’s not, but I would hope it gives you something in return. I want you to remember the character of the man who started all of this, the real character, remember his humour, thank him for his honesty and realise that he would say,

‘Man up! Get on with it! Don’t let opportunity pass you by!’

All my love,

Louise
xxx

I AM BREATHING


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