Face First

Face First

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Running time:

29 minutes


Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


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Available in Canada

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For many individuals who grow up with a facial birth defect, life is full of discrimination, harassment and loneliness. Such was the case for filmmaker Mike Grundmann, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. As a child, he not only endured the physical pain of corrective surgery but experienced physical and verbal abuse from his peers. After several corrective surgeries, Mike's deformity became less noticeable, yet the emotional effects of his birth defect still lingered -- "As my outer deformity faded, an inner one took hold."

In Face First, Grundmann and three other remarkable individuals open old, surgically-sealed wounds to tell stark anecdotes about the physical pain of corrective surgery and the psychological sting of ridicule and rejection. Their stories reflect the reality faced by many who are seen as different.

Through it all, four exceptional people have emerged, each with special strengths that have contributed to their success: Mike Grundmann is an editor with the Los Angeles Times; Robyn Hughes is studying Jewish philosophy in Israel; David Roche is a successful keynote speaker on the subject of facial difference and other topics; and Khrista Boylan is a medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, with plans to specialize in pediatrics.

Award(s): CINE Golden Eagle; Silver Apple, National Educational Media Network; Grand Jury Prize, Pacific Northwest Festival of Fictional and Anthropological Cinema; Achievement Award, Spirit Award, Superfest (Corporation for Disabilities in Telecommunication); Most Inspirational Film, Canyonlands Film and Video Festival (Utah); Judge's Cash Prize, Charlotte (N.C.) Film and Video Festival

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