Saturday, June 14, 2008
Personal Career to When I Walk
My first short film, Olivia’s Puzzle, was completed in 2001 and exhibited it in its first major festival just after the World Trade Center towers were attacked. Subsequently, I moved to New York to start my first full-length film, Lest We Forget, which focuses on the racial profiling of South Asians, Arabs, and Muslims after 9/11. During this production, my walking became slower and off-balance at times. In 2005, after a series of tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, though I expect I had it for years before that. A rarer form of the disease, classified as Primary-Progressive, it is not treatable by medication normally prescribed for the disease. This slow progressing disease is having a massive impact on my life, causing my walking to become more difficult and distorting my vision. The latter has been difficult to cope with as a filmmaker. While my symptoms were slowly worsening, I managed to complete two more films.
Finally I am in production on my third film since my diagnosis, When I Walk, and I put my experience with having Multiple Sclerosis to the screen. The short film spans the course of four months as I try to find ways to continue to walk. The film uses my personal narrative as an anchor to weave in and out of interviews, explanations, and findings on Multiple Sclerosis within a jigsaw puzzle of incidents. The story follows my journey as I come to better understand the disease and develop a strategy for the future. When I Walk, through a cinematic journey, provides information and inspiration to those affected by Multiple Sclerosis and their supporters.