ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.
This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”).
An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, ALIVE INSIDE’s inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
Michael Rossato-Bennett is the Writer, Director and Producer of ALIVE INSIDE – winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary – and through film he strives to incite conversations that interrogate issues related to cultural consciousness. In addition to ALIVE INSIDE, his first feature length offering, Rossato-Bennett has several documentaries in various stages of development, through his production company, Projector Media. Each of those projects is inspired by Michael’s dedication to the collective well being of society and progressive human change towards the greater, if not greatest, good.
Alexandra McDougald is a ten-year entertainment industry veteran, and the producer of ALIVE INSIDE, winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary. Prior to ALIVE INSIDE, Alex concentrated her efforts in publicity and distribution, serving as the lead on campaigns for Image Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment, among others. Most recently, she managed U.S. distribution for Teza – the latest dramatic feature from celebrated Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima – and led publicity for the home entertainment release of Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.
ALIVE INSIDE is Shachar Langlev’s feature film debut as Director of Photography. Israeli-born and Brooklyn-based, he’s been gaining recognition in his field, garnering awards such as the Eastman Kodak Award for Excellence in Cinematography. Shachar works extensively with musicians in the hip-hop community and New York’s jazz scene and has shot music videos and live shows for MTV, VH1 and BET. He is currently in pre-production for his first narrative feature as well as for a documentary feature in collaboration with Elie Wiesel.
An editor for twenty years, some of Manuel Tsingaris’ recent projects include: The Storm that Swept Mexico, a documentary that aired on PBS in 2011, telling the story of the 1910 Mexican revolution and A Dream In Doubt, which follows a Sikh man's journey to find peace and justice after his brother is killed shortly after 9/11. Manuel was also a contributing editor on the critically acclaimed mini documentary series, “Life 360” – a co-venture between ABC/Nightline and PBS.
Barry Cole, Music Supervisor, started the Music Department for New York based film studio, The Shooting Gallery. Since that time, Cole has given music supervision to over 80 media projects. In 2013, he earned a Grammy nomination for producing the soundtrack album to the feature documentary Marley. As a Transmedia Producer for film and television, Cole employs new and emerging technologies to increase audience engagement and overall user experience.
Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film. Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of over 50 films, including: The Cove, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; The Garden, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2009; Hell and Back Again, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2012; and How To Survive A Plague, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2013. Cogan co-founded Gamechanger Films, which launched in September 2013. Gamechanger Films is the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women.
Founded by Chief Creative Officer Limore Shur, the brother of Alive Inside filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, eyeball is a creative strategic design agency that shapes brands through powerful storytelling, stunning design, and insightful problem solving. By embracing client collaboration, its award-winning collective of thinkers, writers, artists and musicians efficiently translate brand ethos into engaging narratives and meaningful consumer dialogue, consistently generating quantifiable and powerful results. With twenty years of broadcast and ad agency experience, eyeball executes across a media spectrum that includes film, live action, design, animation, audio and experiential production.
Regina K. Scully is an Academy Award-nominated executive producer, most recently for the 2013 powerful documentary called the Invisible War, a film about the epidemic rapes of women and men in the military. The Invisible War won the 2012 Sundance Audience Award. Scully also executive produced Miss Representation, a compelling documentary exposing the gender bias that still exists in our country based on the limited portrayals of women and young girls in our Media, Politics and Entertainment. Scully is also involved in the films, Fed Up, a compelling documentary that deals with the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America; ALIVE INSIDE, a recent Audience Award winner at 2014 Sundance film festival; and Anita: Truth to Power, about the 20 year anniversary of the Anita Hill hearings. Scully is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation and is the Founding Sponsor of the Athena Film Festival in NYC.
Mark Demolar is an editor and filmmaker, based in Brooklyn, New York. For the last five years, in addition to working in film, he has toured the country with his band Woodsman. A lover of art, he is known for his work in music video and video installation. ALIVE INSIDE marks Demolar’s first endeavor as a feature editor. His experience on this project sparked what is now a deep desire to discover new perspectives through the art of documentary narrative.
Itaal Shur is best known for co-writing the Santana hit “Smooth” with Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas. “Smooth” earned Shur a Grammy Award® for Song of the Year in 2000. Itaal was also a founding member of the group Groove Collective. He co-wrote the song “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” with Maxwell for his debut album, “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.”
In addition to writing and recording, Shur has created an artist-development and production company. He also produces music for broadcast and computer animation. Shur is brother to Alive Inside filmmaker Michael-Rossato-Bennett.
Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. She is the founder of the Utah Film Center and co-founder of Impact Partners Film Fund with Dan Cogan. In 2013, Geralyn co-founded Gamechanger Films, a film fund dedicated to women directors.
Her independent producing credits include the Academy Award winning Born Into Brothels; Emmy nominated The Day My God Died; Academy Award nominated The Square, Academy Award nominated The Invisible War and multiple film festival winners. Geralyn was honored with the IDA’s 2013 Amicus Award for her significant contribution to documentary filmmaking.
Daniel E. Catullo III is an award-winning producer and director who has produced over 200 music videos and 150 live TV specials in his 20-year career. He has won or been nominated for more than 100 International Awards including Grammy, Telly, Emmy, Billboard Music, Juno and Golden Eagle Cine Awards. In addition to live TV, Catullo was an Executive Producer of the Oscar-nominated 2013 documentary The Square. The film, chronicling the uprising the toppled Mubarak regime in Egypt, went on to win numerous awards at film festivals from Sundance and Toronto to Dubai and Carmel. It also was awarded the 2013 IDA Award for Best Documentary Feature. He is Founder & CEO of The City Drive Entertainment Group the parent company of City Drive Films and DC3 Music Group and resides in Laguna Beach, CA with his wife Madelyn and his two children Isabella and Dylan.
Dan Cohen is founder and executive director of Music & Memory, which promotes the use of digital music players with individualized playlists to improve the quality of life for elders, regardless of their cognitive or physical status. He received his MSW from Adelphi University. Dan has spent most of his career helping individuals and organizations better leverage technology. Music & Memory operates in hundreds of long-term care homes across the U.S. and abroad.
Stirring. A magical, non-medical story of healing.– Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter
Gloriously inspirational.– Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter
The Bottom Line - A gloriously inspirational film documenting music’s healing power in Alzheimer patients.– Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter
The results are astounding.– Steve Greene, Indiewire
An affecting look at a growing therapeutic cause.– Steve Greene, Indiewire
A wonder to experience– Sam Fragoso, RogerEbert.com
It's as transformative as the music itself.– Sam Fragoso, RogerEbert.com
Moving and groundbreaking. The film far exceeded what I'd imagined.– Debbie Cerda, Slackerwood
A ‘must-see’ and a ‘must-share’– Debbie Cerda, Slackerwood
Sometimes, you have to see it to believe it.– Rheana Murray, New York Daily News
Alive Inside is a pitch-perfect documentary that brilliantly explores the transformational effects of music on elders with Alzheimer’s and dementia.– Adam Leipzig, Cultural Weekly
Music has an unmatched power to bring back our pasts.– Kim Painter, USA Today
Alive Inside' illustrates music's joyous power for dementia patients.– Susan King, The Los Angeles Times
In a world drowning in bad news about dementia…'Alive Inside' is positively tonic.– Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times
Rossato-Bennett hopes Alive Inside encourages more of the country's 16,000 nursing homes to embrace headphones and personalized music as an alternative to pharmaceutical treatments.– Hugh Hart, Fast Company
Many of the subjects show deep emotional resonance to the music.– Eric Kelsey, Reuters
Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.– Nell Minow, Beliefnet
The transformation in emotion, awareness and memory shown in these elderly patients may leave viewers incredulous...– Annie Sneed, Scientific American
In segment after segment, people with Alzheimer's and other conditions don the headphones, hear the music of their youths and light up.– Kim Painter, USA Today
Absolutely joyous.– Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
Moving and even haunting at times...– Mary Jacobs, Dallas Morning News
It isn't news that musical therapy can produce striking results, but rarely have those good effects been as movingly illustrated as in 'Alive Inside.'– Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
You’d have to have a heart of stone and bricks for ears not to be moved by the sight of Henry when the music hits him.– Geoff Pevere, The Globe and Mail
Alive Inside packs as potent a simple emotional wallop as anything you’ll see – or hear – anywhere this year.– Geoff Pevere, The Globe and Mail
One of the most important documentaries of the year.– Nikola Grozdanovic, The Playlist