“The Quiet Epidemic”, a feature documentary about the tick-borne disease Lyme diseasereleased its trailer ahead of the film’s premiere in the Special Presentations category at Hot Docs film festival in Toronto on May 2.
The film is co-directed by Lindsay Keys and Winslow Crane-Murdoch, and the producers are Chris Hegedus, who was nominated for an Oscar with DA Pennebaker for “The War Room”, and Daria Lombroso, whose credits include “Most Likely to Succeeded”.
Keys and Crane-Murdoch met at their Lyme disease doctor’s office in 2015. ‘The Quiet Epidemic’ is the result of their seven-year effort to reveal the truth about the disease, which strikes more than 500,000 people every year in the United States only. About 10-20% of those who receive diagnosis and treatment remain ill after treatment. The filmmakers disclose new medical data and scientific discoveries, most of which – according to the filmmakers – have been denied or misinterpreted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and, by extension, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
Keys and Crane-Murdoch said: “Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975, but there has been very little progress for patients. Meanwhile, ticks spread deadly diseases around the world. Some people are left without a cure, and many without a diagnosis in the first place. We can no longer wait for effective diagnoses and treatments. We hope this film can be the catalyst to awaken the public to this growing and common threat.
The documentary centers on the very emotional debate between patients and doctors, who still rely on a CDC-approved test with a 50% accuracy rate. It follows a girl from Brooklyn and a scientist from Duke University, both diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, which some say doesn’t exist. “The Quiet Epidemic” follows their search for answers, which plunges them into the middle of a decades-long medical controversy. What begins as a patient story turns into an investigation into the history of Lyme disease, dating back to its discovery. Finally, a paper trail of underreported scientific research and buried documents reveals why ticks — and the diseases they carry — have been quietly spreading around the world.
The film will premiere May 2 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theater, a timely kickoff to Lyme Awareness Month in the United States and Canada. It will be screened again on May 6 at the Isabel Bader theatre. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. The film will also be available in the Hot Docs Virtual Screening Room, which is geo-blocked in Canada.
The editor is Mark Harrison (“The Lion’s Share”) and the editor is Doug Blush (“Icarus”, “20 Feet From Stardom”). This is Keys and Crane-Murdoch’s first feature film.
A social impact campaign will accompany the film’s release and will include grassroots screenings, social media engagement and political advocacy. The film crew calls on the global medical, scientific and political communities to join forces and find much-needed and long-awaited answers.
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