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Official English website
(deutsche Website)
Theatrical release in Germany on June 3, 2010. All cities and dates here.

FORGETTING DAD is a feature documentary (84 min.) written, directed and edited by German-based US filmmakers Rick Minnich and Matt Sweetwood. It tells the bizarre story of Rick’s father’s sudden and incomprehensible amnesia, which began one week after a seemingly harmless car accident in 1990. After the onset of his amnesia, Rick’s father re-christened himself “New Richard” and began a completely new life, leaving his family feeling abandoned and baffled at where “Old Richard” went.

“Forgetting Dad” is a documentary detective story which takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster ride to the various family members and to one of Richard’s former colleagues in search of answers to why Richard’s memory has never returned. Along the way, Rick uncovers startling facts which shed new light on his father’s amnesia. Is everything really as Richard has led everyone to believe, or is there more to his memory loss than meets the eye?

“Forgetting Dad” won the “Special Jury Award” at its world premiere in the Joris Ivens Competition at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2008 and has gone on to win numerous other prizes including the audience award at the 1st International Health Film Festival in Kos (Greece), an honorable mention at Achtung Berlin – New Berlin Film Award, the William Dieterle Film Prize (Special Prize) in Germany and the Grand Jury Prize at GZDOC in Guangzhou, China.

FORGETTING DAD is a co-production of German television ZDF and the German production company Hoferichter & Jacobs GmbH in association with rickfilms. Additional support was provided by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, MEDIA, and Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung. World Sales are being handled by Jan Rofekamp at Films Transit, Inc. Distribution in Germany is being handled by W-Film in Cologne.

Here’s a new blog post I wrote for my educational distributor Dark Hollow Films. They titled it “A Film’s Power to Provide Hope and Solace,” and that’s what it’s really about. Some thoughts on what it meant to make and show “Forgetting Dad” looking back on it all five years later.
Dark Hollow Films is making the film available to high schools, universities, libraries and non-profits. Please recommend it to your favorite one of these institutions. Every sale helps the film reach more viewers. Thanks!
http://www.darkhollowfilms.com/catalog/1145

We got a nice write-up in the May-June issue of “Video Librarian.” They call “Forgetting Dad”: “… a captivating saga of family dysfunction” and gave it 3 out of 4 stars.
Please encourage your local or university librarian to purchase a DVD for their collection. All DVDs come with public performance rights so they could screen the film publicly whenever they want. More info here.

Slightly more than three years later, Forgetting Dad is returning to the site of its world premiere, this time for the Dutch TV premiere on Nederland 2. The one-hour version will be screening in English with Dutch subtitles at 23:40 tonight. More info on Holland Doc. Tune in and spread the word!

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

We got a quite lengthy review in Germany’s most famous newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today from one of the country’s most highly regarded film critics Michael Hanfeld. It’s titled “You Can Forget Your Father.” Pretty appropriate, I’d say. Sounds like Herr Hanfeld ‘got’ it. Besides the usual plot description with occasional comment, the review also goes off on the ‘homeless America’ the film portrays: “It’s the land Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen sing about, the one John Steinbeck described, a land in which a person can become lost or invisible. Herr Hanfeld continues on to discuss the late German filmmaker Christian Bauer’s film “Missing Allen,” in which Bauer travels the US in search of his American cameraman, who has mysteriously vanished. It’s a terrific film, and I believe this is the first review to draw a comparison between the two films.

It’s strange how some reviews succeed at compacting both the film’s complex storyline and the emotional journey of my family and I into a relatively small space. Reading this nearly three years after the world premiere in Amsterdam, it feels like the film has been put into a box which can be put away high up on a shelf. The trauma of my father’s amnesia will probably never completely fade, but making the film and going public with it has put a frame around the whole ordeal and somehow helped contain it. Although it’s a nice feeling that the film will be showing on Germany’s largest TV station ZDF less than an hour from now, it’s no longer all that important to me. There’s more to life than trying to solve the mystery of my father’s amnesia.

Looking back on my last encounters with my father, it seems he was trying to tell me to not end up like him. In his sometimes awkward way, he was trying to give me some kind of advice on how to cherish what is going on in my life here and now rather than harping on the past or being overly pre-occupied with the future. He has yet to apologize for anything from his past, but he has regret written all over him.

You’ve got to love the long German word Herr Hanfeld uses to describe the feeling Justin and I had upon visiting our father at the end of the film: ‘erbarmungswürdig’ – ‘pitiful’ or ‘pitiable,’ or literally ‘worthy of pity.’ That’s a feeling that hasn’t gone away.

My father has taught me many valuable lessons in life, but the most valuable one yet is showing me vividly with his tortured mind and body how I don’t want to end up. As odd as it may sound, I’m thankful to him for this.

THANKS TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS!

We’d like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who supported our recent crowdfunding campaign for the Father’s Day Film Tour of California. While we didn’t reach our fundraising goal, your contributions help cover quite a few of our expenses. Most importantly, the campaign and tour opened some doors, which will surely help the film find more appreciative viewers. So thanks again for your generous support!

Supporters (in alphabetical order)
Anonymous
Xan Aranda
Karri Barry
Martin Duffy
John Ealer
Michael Hagedorn
Miriam Hermanns
Ebba Jahn
Sonja Kulkarni
Grace Lee
Marlow Shute
Wolfgang Schwarz
Luciana Sollero
Sarah Strandberg
Karen Sutton

Our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo is going into the last weekend. To celebrate this event, we are making the entire 84-minute version of “Forgetting Dad” available for free online in the original English version for the next 48 hours. You can view the film in excellent HD quality without any commercial interruptions, but it is not possible to download the film. If you like the film and want a copy for your library, you can purchase the DVD here.

Why are we giving away the film? To thank our supporters and to gain new fans. All we ask in return is that you spread the word about the film to your friends and family, and encourage them to make a donation to our crowdfunding campaign. Those donating $1 or more will gain access to exclusive bonus material not found on the DVD or anywhere else, as well as some terrific VIP perks. Plus you will be supporting our ongoing efforts to market the film around the world.

If you have any suggestions about where to show the film, please let us know. Thanks again for your support!

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