Perhaps what truly matters is what happens to us in all of those moments between birth and death, as we explore what it means to live our lives. The Life and Death Matters Festival (LADMatters), coming to Boulder September 1st – 4th, will offer a unique view of this journey we all call life.
The festival, which will present 30 international films, 9 original plays, and 19 educational workshops, addresses issues regarding life and death that many of us still shy away from, including Alzheimer’s Disease, autism, suicide, AIDS, bullying, LGBTQ issues, maternal health, terminal illness, and end of life questions. The festival will also feature VIP speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, whose life achievements as an autistic woman, scientist, educator, and advocate for the humane treatment of animals are the subject of the Emmy award winning film that bears her name.
Festival films include Connected, winner of the Women in Film National Geographic Award, a feature length documentary directed by Tiffany Shlain. Connected is a stream-of-consciousness look at the interconnectedness of humankind, nature, progress, and morality at the dawn of the 21st century. Fly Away, a feature length narrative directed by Janet Grillo, explores the poignant story of a single mother and her teenage autistic daughter. Dawn Sinclair Shapiro’s The Edge of Joy is a feature length documentary that takes viewers inside a Nigerian maternity ward. Narrated by award winning journalist Eliza Griswold, this film examines the consequences of poor maternal health in developing countries.
Original plays include Independence Day by playwright Rhea MacCullum and director Vonalda Utterback, which follows a mother and her adult daughter as they attempt to deal with terminal illness. Shoebox, by playwright Stacey Lane and director Erin Kelly, follows a woman’s journey from cradle to grave as told through the greeting cards she has received.
Educational programs include Supporting the Adolescent’s Journey, with Laura Weaver. This program will examine how to better support young people in a meaningful way as they navigate the transition years between childhood and adulthood. Where Has Your Grief Gone with Carole Lindroos will help participants learn to connect with others through grief and loss, rather than distancing themselves during life’s most difficult times.
Festival directors Erin Kelly and Karen von Vuuren hope this inaugural gathering will help to educate as well as inspire debate that will promote a conscious approach to life and death. The festival is being held at four locations in Boulder: the Nomad Theatre, the LAD Education Center, Kelly Barn, and Dagabi Cucina. The SKIP Bus stops at all locations on Broadway. For more information regarding the festival schedule and tickets, visit www.ladmatters.com, email [email protected] or call (303) 443-3418.