“DENIS,” by Gabrielle Blackwood, an official selection of the 2015 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, is a poignant and touching documentary on the life of man diagnosed with ALS. As the story unfolds, we hear from Denis’ wife and primary caregiver, as well as Denis himself, as we learn exactly what it takes to care for someone with this disease.
SYNOPSIS: Denis Mckenzie, a proud and independent family man from Jamaica, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 43. The disease eventually renders him almost completely paralysed and speechless. Given five years to live, Denis tries, with the assistance of his wife, to fight the aggressive and emaciating illness. Interspersed with imaginative recreations, Denis is a touching, uplifting testament to the dogged and indomitable character of the human spirit.
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Gabrielle is a Jamaican Director/ Cinematographer who has shot and directed short films, documentaries and commercials in both Jamaica and New Zealand. Her short film ‘Grave Digger’ won the Geoff Evans Award for Excellence in Screen Production in New Zealand in 2011 and was screened at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, the Havana International Film Festival, the Festival Ile Courts in Mauritius, the Chinese Caribbean Film Festival and the Edinburgh Short Film Festival. Her feature documentary ‘Denis’ which was screened and nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and was also screened in Brooklyn NY.
Born in Jamaica, Gabrielle who has her Masters and Post Grad Dip. in Screen Production from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a BA (Hons) in Media & Communication from the University of the West Indies, currently freelances and resides in Kingston as a Director and Cinematographer and is the current President of the Jamaica Film & Television Association (JAFTA).
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