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Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory
    2013, 74 minutes, color & b/w, U.S.A., U.S. Documentary
    Audience Award: U.S. Documentary presented by Acura

    As dementia continues to affect millions of elderly Americans, Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory reveals a remarkable, music-based breakthrough that has already transformed lives. Spearheaded by social worker Dan Cohen and captured on camera over the course of three years by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, we learn that songs from a patient’s past can awaken memories and emotions that have been asleep for years, sometimes decades. Within a moment of hearing “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, Alzheimer’s patient Marylou jolts back to life, dancing around the living room and expressing a euphoria her husband hasn’t witnessed since her illness took effect. 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 Cohen in nursing homes, this groundbreaking documentary demonstrates how connecting the elderly to the music they love not only combats memory loss but also supplements a broken health-care system often indifferent to interpersonal connections.
    - H.V.

    About the Director

    Michael Rossato-Bennett is the founder and executive producer of Projector Media, a documentary production company dedicated to inspiring conversations that interrogate issues related to our cultural consciousness. Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory is Rossato-Bennett’s first feature-length offering. Projector Media has several documentaries in various stages of production in addition to Alive Inside. Each of those projects is inspired by Rossato-Bennett's dedication to the collective well-being of society.

    Cast and Credits

    Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett

    Screenwriter: Michael Rossato-Bennett

    Executive Producers: The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Projector Media, Eric J. Bertrand, Limore Shur, Ben Spivak

    Producer: Michael Rossato-Bennett

    Co, Producers: Alexandra McDougald, Barry Cole, Jonathan Clasberry

    Editors: Michael Rossato-Bennett, Mark Demolar, Manuel Tsingaris

    Composer: Itaal Shur

    Cinematographer: Shachar Langlev

    Contact: Alexandra McDougald / Projector Media / alex@aliveinsidemovie.com