“With Dad,” a short film produced and directed by Screen Studies Professor Soren Sorensen, has won a Gold Remi award in the Documentary Short Subject category from the 53rd WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival, the oldest independent film and video contest in the world. “With Dad” is based on Studio Art Professor Stephen DiRado’s experience creating a photographic journal of the same name chronicling his father’s decline into Alzheimer’s.
“This is a great honor for the film, for me, and for our very small crew,” Sorensen says. “I share this, especially, with Stephen DiRado, without whom this would not be possible. Stephen’s photographs of his family’s experience of Alzheimer’s disease are a difficult, but necessary, reminder of the fragility and ephemerality of consciousness and existence.”
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The film has not premiered publicly yet given the cancellation and indefinite postponement of film festivals due to COVID-19. DiRado and Sorensen are hoping to hear back from festivals about a potential world premiere date.
In February, prior to the University moving to online learning, Clark’s Higgins School of Humanities included a work-in-progress screening of the film in its yearlong “Bodies” symposium.
“To be recognized like this, when people are falling ill and losing their lives to COVID-19, has produced mixed emotions, to say the least,” Sorensen says. “Considering the growing number of film festivals that have been moved online, postponed indefinitely, or simply canceled, I’m thrilled that ‘With Dad’ connected with jurors at WorldFest in Houston. I hope we can hold a proper screening there someday.”