saturday, September 28, 2019 at 2:15pm
Glaciers is the story of a young married couple who have recently survived ovarian cancer. We follow the couple as they struggle to define their relationship after such a life-altering event. Although they have managed to come out on the other side, it has not been unscathed. They are not the same people they were before the diagnosis and everything feels different now. Michael always thought that he would be father, but now even if they could have children of their own he is unsure whether he would be able to support them with the crushing weight of never ending medical bills. Gretchen feels struggles with her new label as a 'survivor', challenged to grasp her lost identity and to connect with a body she no longer identifies as her own. Will they be able to navigate their new reality as a united front, or, like the once prominent glaciers, will their bond slowly dissolve in the light of their new environment?
Meet the filmmakers
WRITER - Alexandra Craft and John MacDonald
DIRECTOR - Alexandra Craft
PRODUCER - Doug Wirth and Siedah Stewart
Alexandra Craft, Director of the short film, Glaciers, on Surviving Cancer.
At two years old I was diagnosed with Leukemia and given 24 hours to live. Looking back on it now it almost feels like I am watching moments from someone else’s life. That somehow none of it really happened to me. That I wasn’t the two-year-old girl looking up from the hospital bed asking “Mommy, am I going to die?” but I was.
After I was diagnosed our oncologist sat down with my parents that night and explained there was a clinical trial for the treatment of ALL and he felt that this clinical trial was my only chance for survival. The survival rate for children with ALL at the time was 47% and my chances of survival were only 4% but the trial sounded promising and my parents were going to do anything they could to ensure that I was able to live a long and healthy life.
Myself, along with eight other children, were part of the clinical trial--it being our only chance for survival-- and three years later I was the only child left alive.
A significant portion of my childhood was spent screaming at my reflection in mirrors around the house, vomiting, convincing people that told my parents "what a cute little boy they had" that I was in fact a girl, despite my bald head and portly stature due to chemo, and fearing that every germ I came in contact with might be to my demise.
But here I am… It’s been 21 years since I was officially told I could be excited to be cancer free. My story is not unique. My story is not uncommon. Dealing with life after cancer is almost as difficult as going through your diagnosis because you aren’t the same person you once were and you live your life knowing that you’ll never be that person again.
I always say I feel lucky, not only because I survived, but because if I had to have cancer… I am glad it was when I was young. At 2 years old I didn’t understand all of the life experiences I might miss out on or the future that was waiting for me. Graduation, marriage, babies, seeing the world.
My father’s experience when he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2015 was not the same as mine. He was fortunate enough to come through his diagnosis to an existence free from cancer, but the struggle when he went back to his life at home was real. He couldn’t be a doctor anymore, the toll that therapy took on his body made it difficult for him to do tasks he once enjoyed. He had forgotten most of the Japanese he had spent years trying to learn. He didn’t recognize himself anymore. Like many others along with him, he felt like cancer was now the thing that defined him and that feeling… is not something we talk about or even understand.
My father’s oncologist told me that many people’s marriages don’t survive a cancer diagnosis and the mental toll that cancer takes on an individual can seem almost unbearable. Everyone expects you to be happy when you survive. Thrilled even. For the most part, people are, but it is more complicated than that. Surviving a cancer diagnosis, much like life for most people, isn’t black and white. We all live our lives in shades of grey and discovering yourself, like you once did when you were younger, takes time and strength, strength we all must find on our own.
Alexandra Craft Bio (Director; Glaciers Short Film)
Alexandra Craft has been working in communications since 2010 when she received her first job for a major production working on the Universal Studios film Big Miracle (2012).
After directing Glaciers (2019), she moved to Baltimore, Maryland with her husband where she is currently the Director of Communications at the #47 private club in the USA, Baltimore Country Club. She holds a Master of Letters in Film Studies from the University of Stirling Scotland where she graduated with distinction and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage in Journalism and Public Communications with an emphasis in Film and Telecommunications.
Alexandra is currently working on the script for her first feature film with her writing partner Charles Rowell.
Doug Worth - Producer
Doug Wirth is an Independent Contractor in Film Production and Event Management/Production. His Film Production experience spans more than 15 years, covering every aspect of the industry (PA/Coordinator on 250+ Features/Commercials/Music videos to Producing, Directing, Packaging, Duplication and Distribution). He transitioned into Event Managementwhen hired to coordinate the $30 Million Dollar launch of XBOX in 2001, moving on to manage major Touring Eventsfor Clients such as Microsoft, ESPN/DirecTV, NFL/Visa and AXE.Well known in production circles for his hard work ethic and overall passion for production and all its processes, Doug is a very collaborative, detail oriented, hands-on Producer who values high, cutting-edge production quality whilealways remaining conscientious of the bottom line (budget). He has worked with, and is continually establishing, a network of very competent and respected production professionals (including A-list Acting & Production Talent).Mr. Wirth’s experience also includes working in the features legal department at Paramount Pictures, where he was responsible for handling highly sensitive and confidential contract documents for the attorneys, and as a runner/pa for Steve Johnsons XFX, where he worked on film and TV projects such as Magnolia, Bicentennial Man, Red Planet, Charmed and the Outer Limits series. As a result of these experiences, Doug only further expanded his network and knowledge to include the legal and FX side of the industry.