“Those on the Front Lines of Cancer,” a new three-hour documentary produced and directed by Keith Famie for Detroit Public Television/PBS, will premier Oct. 2 at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak with a special showing for community leaders.
The premier of the film, produced by Famie’s Visionalist Entertainment Productions in Wixom, will feature an 80-minute cut from the upcoming debut broadcast. The film will be hosted on PBS by JoAnne Purtan, morning host at WOMC-FM radio and a longtime Detroit television reporter and anchor.
“Cancer affects all of us in one way or another,” says Purtan. “I watched both my mom and mother-in-law battle ovarian cancer for years, and currently have friends facing their own cancer journey. This film provides hope, hope for new treatments on the horizon and hope for alleviating the financial toxicity that often accompanies a diagnosis. What an honor it is to work with Keith Famie and to be a part of such an important project.”
Nearly two years in the making, the documentary features heartfelt stories and several well-known medical professionals, both local and national. Working in the trenches with these professionals, Famie explores the latest medical advances as well as body, mind, and spirit approaches and how lifestyle changes and disciplines can affect what may otherwise be a genetic roll of the dice.
“Cancer – this word evokes fear into anyone who hears a doctor use it in the context of a checkup,” says Famie. “I truly wanted to explore where we are with treatments and research as well as better understand how lifestyle can impact our long-term health to possibly avoid a cancer diagnosis. Most importantly, I wanted to give a voice to those on a cancer journey – enabling these unsung heroes of the film to teach us about strength, courage, faith, and the drive to overcome this devastating disease.”
In addition to leading medical professionals, Famie and his team worked with many local organizations including Sky Foundation Inc., Artichoke Garlic Foundation, Gilda’s Club, Heart to Heart Hospice, Kids Kicking Cancer, Kids Without Cancer, Mission of Hope Cancer Fund, New Day Foundation for Families, Rainbow Connection, The Pink Fund, Wrapped in Love, and Wish Upon a Teen.
“Those on the Front Lines of Cancer” can be seen on Channel 56 in Detroit on Oct. 10 and Oct. 17. The first hour will air on Oct. 10 9-10 p.m. and the final two hours on Oct. 17 from 9- 11 p.m.
“There can be no better use of our documentary programming, than to explain and explore the latest work being done on the front lines of cancer and other diseases,” says Fred Nahhat, senior vice president of programming at Detroit Public Television/PBS. “Keith has the unique ability to document the latest in science while telling personal stories of patients and families, finding spirit amid the struggle and challenges of life- changing events.”
The film was funded by many community leaders, as well as executive producers Jack and Annette Aronson, John and Carole Kulhavi, Warren and Carol Ann Rose, Anthony and Mary Schimizzi, and the Sky Foundation Inc.