Announcing Winners of 2017 Competition

July 30th, 2018

The Living with Alzheimer’s Film Project today announced the winners of its 2017 Short Film Competition:

GRAND PRIZE ($5,000):”Secret,” directed by Cesa Pledger

RUNNER UP ($1,000): “Villa Mnemosine,” directed by Ruben Salazar

YOUNG FILMMAKER PRIZE ($1,000) and SECOND-RUNNER UP ($1,000):  : “One Last Dance,” directed by Will Rowson

The 2017 Jury consisted of:


The project was created by David Shenk, award-winning author of the best-selling book The Forgetting, in conjunction with Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. It was generously funded by MetLife Foundation. Filmmakers of all ages and from across the globe were invited to help others better understand the heartache, exhaustion, unexpected joys, and surreal loss of families dealing with dementia.

“Families toil for years with this disease behind closed doors,” said Shenk. “We wanted to open up their experience to the world.” Through the power of cinema, storytelling and community, Living with Alzheimer’s aims to re-ignite a national dialogue about this ongoing humanitarian crisis.

This was the third year of the short film competition. Each film is judged on story merit, technical achievement, and the extent to which it reveals the challenges of dementia. Eligible films must be under 30 minutes in length to qualify. Visit our About page for more information on eligibility and submissions.

“We’re delighted to work with David Shenk on this important project,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “The research community cannot function properly without adequate public support. Compelling films that focus on Alzheimer’s will help engender much-needed support for stopping the disease as soon as possible.”

As of now, there are no plans for a fourth year of competition. Filmmakers can continue to submit films to the project’s website, for display purposes. All content-appropriate films will be included perpetually.  “We’re so proud of being able to share this invaluable content, and are hopeful that, year after year, this will become a more robust resource for caregivers, ,” said Shenk. “The world needs this.”

About Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a non-profit dedicated to funding the most promising research to prevent, slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed over $74 million to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for several key breakthroughs – including the groundbreaking “Alzheimer’s in a Dish” study. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has received a score of 100 percent regarding its overall financial health from Charity Navigator and a four star rating from the organization five consecutive times. With 100 percent of funds raised going directly to research, Cure Alzheimer’s has been able to support some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. For more information, please visit

About creator David Shenk

David Shenk is the national-bestselling author of six books, including The Genius in All of Us (“deeply interesting and important” – New York Times). His landmark book about Alzheimer’s disease, The Forgetting (2001), won First Prize in the British Medical Association’s Popular Medical Book Awards, and was welcomed by John Bayley as “the definitive work on Alzheimer’s.” The Los Angeles Times Book Review called it, “a remarkable addition to the literature of the science of the mind.” In January, 2004, PBS broadcast The Forgetting, a prime-time Emmy-winning documentary inspired by the book. In 2006, the book was featured in Sarah Polley’s Oscar-nominated film Away From Her. In 2010, Shenk directed five short animated “pocket films” about Alzheimer’s, narrated by David Hyde Pierce. Shenk has advised the President’s Council on Bioethics on dementia-related issues and is a Senior Advisor to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. He has also contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Gourmet, Harper’s, Spy, The New Yorker and NPR. More at

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that develops at least one decade before symptoms first appear, and eventually leads to problems with memory, reasoning, behavior, and motor skills. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s slowly worsen over time, and the disease is ultimately fatal. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., currently afflicting more than five million Americans and costing more than $200 billion annually. Unless there is a cure, those numbers are guaranteed to skyrocket as the population ages. There is currently no available treatment to stop or even slow down the disease.