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The Genetics of Hope

“When I was diagnosed at 14, my disease didn’t have a name. The challenges we face are still immense, but the progress is undeniable. Now, I am is turning the camera on myself and others in the rare disease and biotech communities to reflect on how we got to this breakthrough moment in genetic medicine.” – Artemis Joukowsky

 Rallying to cure a fatal disease, patients, scientists, advocacy groups and a breakthrough treatment work together to defy genetic fate.

DNA mapping sparked a revolution that forever changed the arc of medicine. 

Genes are the recipe for life, impacting our daily existence in subtle and sometimes dramatic ways. Since the launch of the Human Genome Project in 1990, scientists have been able to target medical treatments on a genetic level. With new tools, techniques and a greater scientific understanding, we are in a new era of genetic medicine.

Families + patients + scientists rally together to create a breakthrough therapy. 
The Genetics of Hope follows the families, patients, and scientists who rallied together to create the first approved treatment for a rare genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). 

Accelerating the development of treatments that defy genetic fate. 
SMA has been identified by the National Institute of Health as a model disease. SMA is also a model community where a collaborative approach to problem-solving yielded unprecedented results in record time. This breakthrough marks a paradigm shift in medicine, accelerating the development of treatments that improve lives of people with all genetic conditions.


Your tax-deductible contribution will directly fund the development, production, and distribution of The Genetics of Hope feature documentary film. We are have partnered with leading scientific institutions including Mass General Hospital, Tufts Medical, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and others to facilitate a dialogue between the public and scientists around an issue that affects us all — THIS is the Genetics of Hope!

Artemis Joukowsky, Director

Artemis has been involved in SMA activism and filmmaking for more than 20 years. The Cure is Artemis’ 8th documentary film, after “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War” co-produced with Ken Burns, and broadcast nationally on PBS. Artemis is receiving the Sprinraza treatment in 2017.

Geralyn Dreyfous, Executive Producer

Geralyn Dreyfous is an Academy award winning filmmaker with extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector. In 2007, she co-founded Impact Partners Film Fund, bringing together financiers and filmmakers so that they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change. Geralyn is an advising producer on this project.

Kim Brizzolara, Project Advisor

Kim Brizzolara is a feature film and documentary producer, and private investor; and serves as advisor to several non-profit organizations. She is Executive Vice Chair of the Hampton’s International Film Festival, andalso serves on the boards of Creative Visions, Blade of Grass and the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Matthew Justus, Producer

Matthew Justus, Producer of the film, is an Emmy-nominated documentary and commercial filmmaker based in San Francisco. Over the past decade, he worked on productions for HBO, PBS, the BBC, ZDF, The History Channel, IFC and film festivals around the world. He had a producer role on two projects which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Cray Novick, Producer

Cray Novick recently completed his Directorial debut “Re-Evolution: The Cuban dream”, an award-winning documentary that screened to audiences internationally. He was an additional editor on Defying the Nazis. Cray is a co-producer on this project.

Erik Angra, Producer

Erik Angra is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Recently, Erik completed editing and cinematography for Ken Burns most recent film “Defying the Nazis”. His work has appeared on almost every major television outlet. Erik is an advising producer and cinematographer on this project.

Gareth Burghes, Producer

Gareth Burghes is a documentary filmmaker based in the New York area and received his MFA in documentary film production from Chapman University. He seeks to explore the world through documentary filmmaking and endeavors to create documentaries designed to engage people in new perspectives. From bull sharks to bakeries, his films have allowed access into the lives of people with stories to tell the world, and have gone on to screen around the world.




Associated Members

We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture