December 5, 2015:
The latest installment of the Reel Women in Film series at the Linda was Looks Like Laury Sounds Like Laury with filmmakers Pamela Hogan and Connie Shulman.
What would you do if you started to disappear? At the age of 45 Laury Sacks, an ebullient actress and the doting mother of two small children, had a reputation as the quickest wit in the room. At the age of 46, she began forgetting words. Soon she could barely speak.
The film, Looks Like Laury Sounds Like Laury, captures one year in the long, but short journey of frontotemporal dementia, a little-understood disease that strikes people in the prime of life.
On the first day of shooting the documentary, Laury Sacks, the film’s subject, faces the camera and squarely asks: “What do I hope for? I hope for the truth!!”
For one year, filmmakers Pamela Hogan and Connie Shulman follow Laury in her long, inexorable descent to fronto-temporal dementia, a little-understood disease that strikes people in the prime of life. It is the profoundly personal portrait of a woman who is facing the unthinkable and the impact her progressive disease has on loved ones.
Pamela Hogan, Director/Producer/Writer
An Emmy award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and media executive, Pamela Hogan is the Series Creator and EP of Time for School, PBS’s flagship mini-series on the global crisis in access to education (Gabriel Award, Overseas Press Club citation, IDA nominee). She was recently Co-Creator and Executive Producer of PBS’s Women, War & Peace, a 5-part series on the strategic role of women in global conflict, and Director of Episode 1, “I Came to Testify.”Seen by 12 million viewers, the films won 2 Overseas Press Club awards, a Television Academy Honor and the Gracie award for outstanding series. She was a founding producer and EP of PBS’s international series Wide Angle, working closely with global filmmakers on 70 hours of documentaries filmed in 50 countries. While there she originated and developed Ladies First about women’s leadership in post-genocide Rwanda (winner of an Emmy & the Society for Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi for Best Documentary). She has produced for Bill Moyers, directed international co productions for National Geographic Television, and was Field Producer of NBC’s Peabody award-winning To Be An American, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tom Spain. Her speaking engagements include the White House, Capitol Hill, U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.N., Asia Society, Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard and UC Berkeley Law Schools, and Brown’s Watson Institute. She is an adjunct professor in the broadcast department of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, co-teaching the Masters Documentary Seminar.
Connie Shulman, Producer
Connie Shulman lives with her husband and two kids in Manhattan. She has been an actress for twenty-five years, working in films such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Men Don’t Leave (with Jessica Lange), Reversal of Fortune (with Jeremy Irons), and Sweet and Lowdown (with Sean Penn). She created therole of Annelle in the original New York cast of Steel Magnolias and was the voice of Patti Mayonnaise in the Nickelodeon/Disney animated series, DOUG. She is currently writing her first novel and appearing as Yoga Jones in the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, third season to premiere in Spring 2015.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT: The Upstate New York chapter of Women in Film & Television (UPWIFT) supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media, energizing the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equity. UPWIFT is in the process of being formally established as a non‐profit, volunteer‐based organization, reaching from the base of the Hudson Valley to the crown of the Capital District Region, and joining over 40 other Women in Film & Television chapters with 10,000 global members.