Film Title: Gabe
No parent should have to bury their child, but that was the reality that Dick and Josephine Weil faced when their adopted son Gabe was diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. By the age of ten, Gabe was wheelchair bound. By his mid teens, he required a full time caretaker. Despite his grim diagnosis, Gabe made it a life goal to get a college degree, knowing that such an accomplishment was more than most could expect of him.
In December of 2013, Gabe graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, fulfilling that dream. Nearly simultaneously, doctors informed him that he had been misdiagnosed all along, and as such, he might live into his 50s. Although this news was overwhelmingly positive, it presented a surprising obstacle — Gabe did not have any long-term goals. He was forced to rethink his life from scratch. This radical shift in consciousness propelled him to set new goals, continue overcoming obstacles, and manifest more dreams.
Gabe is a testament to human perseverance, and a reminder that despite our differences, we are all connected through our shared humanity.
Key People (cast, crew, etc.):
Director / Producer – Luke Terrell
Executive Producers – David Donnelly, Luke McIntosh, Tyler Kieft, Michael Gadbaw, Richard and Josephine Weil
Editor: Justin Guerrieri
DP and 2nd Editor: Heath Saunders
Why did you decide to submit to FirstGlance?
I moved out to Los Angeles at the beginning of this year after spending my entire life up to this point in the Midwest. In looking towards a festival run and it felt important to share my work with my new neighbors, so I made it a priority to screen in Los Angeles. FirstGlance is an appealing festival for young filmmakers as there is a strong emphasis on creating connections and setting a film up for distribution — both current goals for our team.
Will someone from your team be attending FirstGlance?
5 of our main creatives live in Los Angeles and will be in attendance if the screening time works. Luke Terrell the director/producer, Justin Guerrieri the editor, Heath Saunders the DP and 2nd editor, Andy Marsh the composer, and Alix Marson the illustrator.
What is something you feel is important for our readers to know about your film?
This is a very intimate story but it is universally relatable. Come in with an open mind as to what you can learn from someone like Gabe.
What should viewers expect from your film?
We hope that our film will incite the entire spectrum of emotions in our viewers, as well as a deeper understanding of what it’s like navigating the world with a disability.
Do you have any production stories our readers might enjoy?
Gabe was a big prankster, his favorite holiday being April Fool’s Day. One April 1st he had one of the two caregivers scheduled to help with his morning routine come in a bit early. The caregiver, per Gabe’s request, moved Gabe into his wheelchair in the nude, and scattered open liquor bottles around the room. When the 2nd caregiver came into the room expecting to see Gabe in bed, Gabe pretended as if he was just waking up from a long night of partying! Got em!
What are you looking forward to most at FirstGlance?
I always look forward to the conversations that happen after our screenings. A big goal in creating this film was to engage in a dialogue; the film is just the beginning, the real impact happens in the followup.
Where can our readers find more information about your film?
Our social media tag is “thegabedoc,” so www.thegabedoc.com (will be redone shortly), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #thegabedoc. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions or comments.
For more information on the FirstGlance Film Festival, or to buy tickets, visit their website.