Fresh Docs Screening – December 2, 2016

The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund are pleased to present a free screening of Jeffrey Mittelstadt’s Staring Down Fate, about a red wolf biologist who is diagnosed with ALS, and searches for meaning in his terminal illness while the endangered species he dedicated his career to faces another potential extinction. The film is presented as part of the Fresh Docs series featuring documentary works-in-progress; following the screenings, a moderated conversation with the filmmaker(s) will be held, during which the audience provides valuable feedback.

Note: Fresh Docs screenings are free, but attendees must RESERVE A TICKET via Eventbrite. 

Staring Down Fate
Friday, December 2, 7 pm
Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina

Staring Down Fate is about the 7.4 billion people on earth and our relationship with nature as told through the life of one person. Chris Lucash fights against fear of death and shares his story hoping humans will reconnect with nature and each other, and live their lives with purpose to make a difference in the world. While Chris is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease), the endangered red wolf population declines fast: only 45 remain in the wild. He helped reintroduce them into the wild in 1987 after they were declared biologically extinct in 1980. But, did living and working in an area dominated by industrial agriculture contribute to the development of his ALS? Chris and the red wolves lost control over their own fate, but Chris did have control over how he lived his life and the legacy he leaves behind. He lived every day with purpose to make this world a better place, which enabled him to know that he would die with dignity.
Jeffrey Mittelstadt produced, directed and edited the award-winning short film, Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale. As a Park Fellow at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jeff was one of the Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellows who made the interactive documentary Coal: A Love Story, which earned the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, the 1st place Green Dot Award in the media category, 1st place College Photographer of the Year for large group multimedia project, South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Awards champion in the student category, and named to the Los Angeles Times Best of the Web. Jeff co-led and taught on an ethnographic and documentary film/photography trip for Davidson College students to Shanghai, China in 2014. As Director of Sustainability at Davidson College, he also led student interns in creating short films about the College food system.