Local filmmaker seeks to make her touching documentary available to a wider audience

December 4, 2013 by Mark H. Anbinder

Update: There's a free screening of "Tell me the Day Backwards" at Ithaca College's Roy H. Park School of Communication Auditorium at 7pm on Tuesday, February 25th.

Rachel Ferro, a local filmmaker whose documentary about a family facing loss was screened at Cinemapolis this summer, is now working on expanding the movie's reach. With a week left to go in her crowdfunding efforts, an Indiegogo campaign has raised nearly $4,000 of her $4,500 goal.

"Right now I'm focused on raising money for film festival submissions, DVD duplications, online streaming, print materials, DVD packaging, press kit, and screenings," says Ferro of her efforts to expand the reach of "Tell Me the Day Backwards," a film that follows a local family for the last year of their daughter's Holly's life. "My ultimate goal is broadcast on a major TV network."

The Trumansburg resident, who would like to see the film screened at Cornell Cinema, too, says, "People's reactions to the Cinemapolis screening were overwhelmingly positive. Over 100 people attended the screening, and over $1,000 was raised for NTSAD," the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association. Holly died early this year of Tay-Sachs Disease, a neurological disorder.

"This truly feels like the most important thing I've ever done," says Ferro, who spent thirteen months with the Ward family. She says "the film touches on the use of alternative therapies, similarities between birth and death, unique perspectives about the meaning of a full life and the miraculous strength of the human spirit." In addition to the last several months of Holly's life, the film looks at the family's healing process.

Ferro says those who contribute $25 or more to her Indiegogo fundraising campaign are entitled to a downloadable or DVD copy of the movie. Contributors of $250 and up can host their own local screening and Q&A, which Ferro will attend. 10% of contributions received will be donated to the NTSAD organization, in the names of the various crowdfunding contributors.

"This documentary takes what is monumental and places it in the humble living room of a young family," said Mary Zebell, a local writer and film critic. "It uncovers the place where real caring begins, grows, exists, and it stays, teaching all of us how to care for someone in need."

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