dir. Aaron Zeghers & Lewis Bennett
2019, USA, 50:28, Nonfiction *Filmmaker in Attendance

After being diagnosed with leukemia in 1993, Danny picks up a camcorder and begins to create a film, with himself as the central character.

The lo-fi Vancouver cityscape reflects back an alienated existentialism as Danny grapples with his personal demons, spurred on in the face of his own mortality. Danny – as himself – is impressive, funny, and intelligent enough to have built his own sailboat, but also neurotic and full of regret. What comes forth is a sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartbreaking found footage documentary about disease, mental illness, manhood, and the meaning of life.

“It’s hard to accept this but I have no doubt that it’s true. “The typical cancer patient – let’s say a man – experienced a lack of closeness to his parents during childhood. As he grew up he became strongly extroverted but not so much from the innate attraction to others, but from a dependency on them for validation of his own worth. Difficulty in forming more than superficial relationships led to an excruciating loneliness and reinforced and earlier feeling of inadequacy. At the same time he may cherish a vision of the ‘real me’ who is supremely gifted, destined to benefit the human race with vague but transient accomplishments. But this authentic self is carefully hidden in the belief that it would jeopardize the minimal acceptance and love that he has received. He thinks if I act as I feel – brilliant, loving and crazy – I will be rejected.” This is so true.” -DANNY

The Trailer

DANNY – Trailer from Aaron Zeghers on Vimeo.

The Filmmakers

Aaron Zeghers – Director/Producer

Aaron Zeghers is a Canadian artist and programmer working in film, video and photography. Zeghers primarily works as an experimental filmmaker, utilizing analog formats, obsolete technology, in-camera effects, various types of animation and other experimental techniques to create his films, videos and expanded cinema performances. Zeghers’ films have screened at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Festival du nouveau cinéma, DOXA Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and New York’s Mono No Aware.

Lewis Bennett – Director/Producer

Lewis Bennett is a filmmaker based in Vancouver. His documentaries have screened on the New York Times Op-Docs website and at film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and Slamdance. His feature-length documentary debut, The Sandwich Nazi, had its World Premiere at SXSW where it was nominated for the Documentary Grand Jury Prize.