HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GREG? A Remarkable Documentary

Greg O’Brien, journalist
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Steve Ecclesine’s makes his directorial debut after three years in production with the movie, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GREG? A Journey Through Alzheimer’s with Faith, Hope and Humor, has its World Premiere at the Second Annual Filmocracy Fest (December 9th -12th) in Los Angeles, CA. Profiling career journalist Greg O’Brien’s battle with early onset Alzheimer’s, the documentary is screening in-person at the Lumiere Beverly Hills Music Hall Saturday, December 11th at 5:45PM PST, followed by a live Q&A with the director and Greg O’Brien and is available digitally for festivalgoers from Thursday, December 9th at 12:00AM PST through Sunday, November 12th at midnight PST. Buy tickets here.

Book cover

The film previewed this fall at select fundraising events, notably UsAgainstAlzheimer’s 8th Annual Trish Vradenburg Gala, in Washington DC, and the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod (AFSC) first Virtual Alzheimer’s Day of Culture in Provincetown, MA, near Greg O’Brien’s home.. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GREG? is inspired by O’Brien’s best-selling and award-winning book, On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s, and puts a human face on the most terrifying disease of Alzheimer’s. Plans are in place for a theatrical and digital debut in February 2022.

After seeing the movie, which was beautiful and inspiring, while very disturbing, I kept wanting the title to be “Have you met Greg?” In this film, I felt as though I had met Greg and what an amazing person he is. What is so unusual about O’Brien is his ability to engage people, share extremely important information about aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, hold the stage for an hour and continue to do this, despite many concurrent medical conditions.

O’Brien is a former investigative reporter, best-selling author, and public speaker who despite a bicycling accident which precipitated early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 59, battling prostate cancer, macular degeneration claiming 40% of his eyesight, even after undergoing a 10-hour major spinal surgery this spring, O’Brien still writes articles for Psychology Today and co-hosts the NPR podcast, Forgetting. Alzheimer’s is not new to him in that it impacted many of O’Brien’s family members—his father, mother, grandfather, and uncles—and is now coming for him. While cherishing and rationing his “QTR”—Quality Time Remaining—O’Brien faces his battle against this invisible enemy, armed with his faith, hope, and humor.

In the film, O’Brien is so open, interactive, charming and funny, that I almost felt like I knew him. I wish I could, in fact, be there to participate in his Q&A. Some of the take away from the film is that the disease afflicts 50 million people worldwide and affects hundreds of millions of caretakers. After billions have been spent on research, it remains poorly understood. Beyond capturing Greg’s redemptive journey, the film is hoping to make brain health a priority in daily life and to inspire both patients and caregivers to pay attention to for early detection and preparation for Alzheimer’s and other brain afflictions.

Several takes aways for me were the enormity of the impact of Alzheimer’s, the way in which the disease is very “quirky”, so the performers like Glenn Campbell and Tony Bennett and even Greg can use the well developed areas of their brains to continue doing what they have learned to do so well, while being almost non-functional at other times and in other areas and the exhaustion they experience following this energy output is extreme. I also learned that there is about a 10 year period in which this disease takes hold and develops into the disease that is recognizable. The film makes a plea for greater awareness in order to take action in the early stages of the disease. This is a powerful, meaningful and important film.

“We’re pleased to be making our debut on the festival stage at Filmocracy,” says filmmaker Ecclesine. “Our film speaks through the voice of one courageous family and is great edutainment that entertains while educating our audience how best to address the stigma of Alzheimer’s. Filmocracy’s hybrid platform and focus on impact documentaries speaks well to our mission and we look forward to our premiere.” Ecclesine concludes, “We wish to thank our sponsors; Eli Lilly, Biogen and Esai for their generous support.” Inspired by O’Brien’s best-selling and award-winning book, On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GREG? puts a human face on the terrifying disease of Alzheimer’s and will be a must-see at upcoming 2021/2022 film festivals and in theaters February 2022.


About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s 
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s was founded in 2010 to disrupt and diversify the movement to cure Alzheimer’s. Through urgent and inclusive mobilization, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked to dramatically increase funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research. 

Facebook • Twitter • YouTube About AFSC 
Created by caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center (AFSC) is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides free psychosocial services such as consultations, referrals, care planning, education, support groups and cultural programming for the Alzheimer’s/dementia community. 
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Photos are courtesy of HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT GREG?

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