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Friday, January 29, 2016

Child Trauma Documentary “Resilience” Premieres at Sundance Film Festival to Sold-Out Houses

From ACES Too High News
ACES = Adverse Childhood Experiences

By Jane Ellen Stevens
January 25, 2016



Resilience, a documentary that looks at the birth of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and how it spawned a movement across the world, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday. The first two screenings — both on Friday — were sold out.

Not bad for a film whose director, James Redford, wasn’t even planning on submitting it to the festival.

The buzz started before the festival even began. Wired.com listed Resilience as No. 2 in the 25 documentaries not to miss. WhatNotToDoc.com also singled it out. Nonfictionfilm.com did a story about the documentary. Metamoral Films director Matt Duhamel scheduled a red-carpet interview with Redford.


The night before the premiere, Indiewire published a story by Redford about “how we should measure ‘impact’ in documentaries”. And the Salt Lake Tribune featured the film in this article: Sundance documentaries tout empathy in education and child development.

(l to r) Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who appears in Resilience; Robert Redford,
father of Resilience director James Redford; Clifford Beers Guidance Clinic
site coordinator Laura Lawrence, who appears in Resilience; Resilience
producer and director James Redford; Resilience co-producer Dana Schwartz

There’s only one sour note so far: In his review in Variety, Ben Kenigsberg didn’t think the film was very compelling. “Those who already have a keen interest in the subject would be better off racing to the New England Journal of Medicine than to a theater,” he wrote.

I’ve seen it, and I didn’t get bored for a skinny minute. I actually think that people who have a keen interest in ACES will stay glued to their seats.

In addition to the packed houses, there’s more news: According to the Hollywood Reporter, Brainstorm Media has acquired North American rights to Resilience. It also picked up Paper Tigers.

Resilience is produced by KPJR Productions. It features interviews with several leaders in the ACEs movement nationally and in communities, including Laura Lawrence and Laura Porter, and Drs. Robert Anda, Vincent Felitti, Nadine Burke Harris, Victor Carrion, Jack Shonkoff and David Johnson. The producers are Redford and Karen Pritzker. The executive producers are Pritzker and Regina K. Scully.

The documentary is the second by Redford that addresses ACEs. The first was Paper Tigers, which follows six students during a school year at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, the first trauma-informed high school in the U.S. Paper Tigers has been screening to sold-out audiences around the U.S. since it premiered at the Seattle Film Festival last year.

If you happen to be at Sundance this week, you still have a chance to see Resilience at two more screenings: one tomorrow night (Tuesday) and another on Saturday. Check out the Resilience web site to purchase tickets.


"Paper Tigers" Trailer


“Stressed brains can’t learn.” That was what Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, took away from an educational presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five-fold. Paper Tigers is the story of how one school made such dramatic progress, becoming a promising model for trauma-informed schools.

Join filmmaker James Redford, New York Times contributor David Bornstein, and New School for Social Research Professor of Psychology Dr. Howard Steele for a panel discussion and screening of Paper Tigers, a documentary about how addressing childhood adversity turned an entire school around—and an official selection at the Seattle International Film Festival.

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