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Redwood City Invites Community to the Fox Theatre for Award-Winning Film “Alive Inside” - Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Post Date:08/06/2014


For Immediate Release 
August 6, 2014

Media Contact
Chris Beth, Director
Parks, Recreation and Community Services


Redwood City, CA – The City of Redwood City, in collaboration with the Fox Theatre and SNS FiReFilms, invites the community to a special screening of the award-winning film, “Alive Inside” on Monday, August 18th at 6 pm.

This film reveals a remarkable, music-based breakthrough in the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, which has already transformed lives. Fostered by non-profitMusic & Memory, the initiative is led by social worker Dan Cohen and is captured on camera over the course of three years by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett. The film documents how songs from Alzheimer’s and dementia patients’ past can awaken memories and emotions that have been asleep for years, sometimes decades.

The potential for use of this concept in senior care supports the Redwood City City Council’s Strategic Initiative of a “Community for All Ages,” and it’s anticipated that the film screening will help spark a dialog about this and other senior care issues. This film screening is open to the entire community as a way to raise awareness of this methodology for enriching the lives of the senior population, and celebrate the possibilities this brings for opening long-closed doors in the minds of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The free film screening takes place:

Monday, August 18, 2014
Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City

6 pm Doors open
6:30 pm Screening begins
8:30 pm Question and answer presentation with Dan Cohen of Music & Memory,
and Sharon Anderson Morris of FiReFilms

Redwood City has over 10,000 senior residents, and statistically one-third of them may have memory issues,” notes Redwood City Mayor Jeffrey Gee. “Redwood City is dedicated to serving all of our seniors as part of our ‘Community for All Ages,’ and I’m excited that the City can be part of a conversation about innovative therapies for treating these patients and making their lives better.”

A showing of the film earlier this summer at the Fox generated a great deal of interest and excitement for the program’s potential to help affected seniors, through implementation at nursing homes and other memory-care providers.  Since then, private fundraising has taken place to jump-start this program in local nursing homes, and the hope is that other cities will follow the lead of Redwood City in facilitating an exploration of how this method might bring benefit to their communities.

The host venue of the very first screening of “Alive Inside” in Silicon Valley was at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City. Redwood City native Heather Rangel, her employer Deloitte, the Fox Theatre, and FiReFilms, teamed up to bring the screening to Redwood City July 9th.  “This film hit home for me personally having gone through the hopelessness of having a family member with Alzheimer’s,” said Eric Lochtefeld, Fox Theatre owner. “The response to the screening was so enthusiastic and heartwarming that we decided to bring it back with the goal of engaging more people and exploring ways to make the Music & Memory system available to every last patient suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia in Redwood City.”

About the film: Countless instances in “Alive Inside” provide proof that music stimulates activity in dementia-affected parts of the brain and transforms the quality of life of those often left to languish in silence.

Through revealing conversations with renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, as well as powerful firsthand experiments conducted by Mr. Cohen in nursing homes, this groundbreaking documentary demonstrates how connecting those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or brain injury to the music they love can combat memory loss. “Alive Inside” is the winner of the 2014 Sundance Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary.

The mission of SNS FiReFilms is to support potentially world-improving documentary films to bring to the attention of the SNS/FiRe global corporate community of C-level executives in technology, finance, and world press to help filmmakers achieve their goals, “from completion to distribution to solution,” as a powerful tool for world and social improvement.

Music & Memory is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology. By training nursing-home staff, other elder-care professionals, and family caregivers in  creating and providing personalized playlists using iPods or other digital music players, the program enables patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.

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