BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
In Beverly Hills the story they lived and altered due to doctors’ words recently won the 10th Annual Best of Festival Award bestowed by the Lady Filmmakers Festival, while members of the American Cancer Society and breast cancer survivors celebrated Chicagoans Melissa and Jimmy Boratyn’s Ginger. Shown to a sold-out crowd at the Logan Theatre in Chicago earlier this month, their inspirational, insightful and often humorous film will appear November 17 at Evanston’s Century 12/CinéArts 6 to benefit the American Cancer Society and further the movie’s mission.
Jimmy, founder and President of Shot Time Production, told us about the movie:
“Melissa, whom I met when we were undergraduates at Loyola, was 23 when she discovered that she had breast cancer. We decided to make the movie while we were still in graduate school at DePaul and actually got the doctor’s call that the cancer had returned while we were filming locations for the film. After some reflection we decided to move forward but the script changed drastically from the voice of a person who had beat cancer to one who was currently fighting it. Our biggest thing became making it relatable.
“Our tagline is: A 23-year-old’s pretty funny, slightly sad and powerfully emotional guide to breast cancer.”
Melissa, who alternates traveling and promoting the film she co-directed with chemotherapy treatments and talks for fellow survivors, says:
“Our goal is really to help others. At the start there was so much uncertainty about the project. Working with my medical team and our creative team from the Loyola Film School, we made it happen. Ginger is a quirky character and I think very refreshing to the cancer patients who have been watching our movie. We try to encapsulate all the things our 23-year-old character is going through, the reality and that life can be funny at the same time.”
Like many other Chicago indie filmmakers, the Boratyns make web-based videos ranging from business to weddings to special events. They are currently working on a series-based movie about post-traumatic stress disorder. To them, it is all about story telling.
Melissa, a guest on WGN’s Stories of Hope, adds that balancing days of treatment and movie discussion make for long days:
“The most validating experience was not winning awards but talking to fellow patients at the festivals. This was my story and it is great to see it on the screen.”
To find out more about purchasing tickets for Ginger on November 17 at the Evanston Century 12 visit facebook.com/gingerthemovie/
Photo Credit: Jimmy and Melissa Boratyn