Monday, August 3, 2009

'LEAVE THEM LAUGHING' DEMO - A Musical Comedy about ALS

Ninety riveting minutes of songs about life, and quips about death, from the wheelchair of a woman who vows to exit the stage with a smile on her beautiful face.
Once a nationally-known performer of ballads, skits and self-parody, now fated by Lou Gehrig’s Disease to perish within months, the remarkable Carla Zilbersmith was diagnosed in 2007 and given less than four years to live. She will leave a teen-aged son, a few fans and students who adore her, and this 90-minute pre-mortem retrospective of a life lived fully, but far too fast.
On stage in actual and dramatized flashbacks to her giddy days as a comedienne and chanteuse, and on camera in the unashamed current reality of her condition, "Leave 'Em Laughing" tells Carla’s own glad, sad story in her own voice through diary entries, travelogues, interviews and skits. Films of her last brave travels to Australia, Britain and Mexico demonstrate the ferocity of her intention to suck the last molecules of pleasure from her life.
“A journalist asked me what I wanted to do before I died,” Carla says, “and I quite naturally answered: Johnny Depp.”
She is confident that a musical comedy about the nearness of death will be a unique and compelling vehicle to engage an audience with a subject that might otherwise be shunned for its graphic toll of suffering and pain.
But beyond the inexorable progress of the disease is the inescapable truth that all of us, sooner or later, will have to confront our own individual demise. No one could serve as a more inspiring forerunner along that path than Carla Zilbersmith, who faces her own extinction with wit, wisdom, courage, music and love. That she will die before her audience, her son, her friends, and her parents, there is little doubt. That they need grieve for her suffering while she still is living, there is no reason. Later, she says, there will be too much time for tears and sorrow.
We see a universal appeal for this unique portrayal of a woman’s capacity for humor in the face of tragedy. Carla’s outrageous and colorful sense of humor remains intact, even as her physical body weakens; who else would have the words Out of Order tattooed on her feet!
As an Academy Award-winning director, no one knows the power and impact of the motion picture better than John Zaritsky.
ALS imposes a cruel and literal deadline; Carla has up to two years to live. Our goal — and hers — is to bring the film to the screen for her to see.
We plan a 90-minute version for theatrical and festival release and a 60-minute documentary for international and domestic broadcast.

Download our Press Kit (PDF)

Magic Flute Films Demo

1 comment:

MB said...

Leave Them Laughing is now on facebook -

Check it out for news and production stills. Many more to come.

Oscar-winning director of Leave Them Laughing just received his 15th Gemini nomination for his last film, The WIld Horse Redemption.