Jadon Fimon was just six years old when he wrote, “Gone,” a poem about his mother’s breast cancer. Little did he imagine he would become the youngest poet in an award-winning national anthology, The Cancer Poetry Project 2. And he never dreamed his poem would be made into a film.
When we learned about The Cancer Poetry Project’s desire to create a film of Jadon’s poem, we put a hotshot team together and started storyboarding right away. Now we’re thrilled to be premiering the short film Gone on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Gilda’s Club Twin Cities.
The two-minute film, directed by Matt Collings and edited by Ben Thompson, includes live action, original music, and animation, all created by local film industry professionals. “The amazing team at Ditch has been hugely generous in offering their expertise, time, and resources, plus tapping numerous connections to create this moving film,” says Karin Miller, editor of The Cancer Poetry Project.
The film was a labor of love, says Miller, for the many people involved in the project, which included shooting at two locations, Frankie’s Pizza in New Hope and Lutheran Social Services and Children’s Home Society of Minnesota; working with industry pros, like Ruggiero Models and Talent, animator Jeffrey Grutter of Gaardhouse, and composer Joey Verskotzi; and taking care of myriad details, mostly thanks to producer Maya Khaira and executive producer Leah Rogers.
“It was a privilege to work with so many talented people willing to contribute their time to tell Jadon’s story in a visually captivating way,” says Rogers. “Karin has created a unique forum for therapeutic creative writing, and we’re proud to support her mission.”
Gone will be used to garner attention for a new in-the-works project: a children’s poetry website that will focus on coping with illness. “The arts are often tapped by adults during times of illness,” says Miller. “This site will give children and teens a place to post their poetry and poetry videos, reaching out to other kids dealing with the same issues—whether they themselves or loved ones are sick.” Miller hopes the film will attract sponsorships from the healthcare industry for the web-based forum.
To learn more about The Cancer Poetry Project, please visit cancerpoetryproject.com. For information about Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, a nonprofit that offers free social, emotional and psychological cancer support, please visit gildasclubtwincities.org.