Sundance: ‘Unrest’ Documentary Finds A Home At PBS

The Sundance Special Jury Prize Award winning documentary Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea, has found a home as PBS acquires the docs US broadcast rights. Following a theatrical release, the documentary will be aired at the beginning of 2018 as part of the multiple-Emmy Award winning PBS series Independent Lens. Independent Lens airs on PBS Monday nights at 10PM.

Director Jennifer Brea commented on the acquisition saying “Since I first picked up my camera and began documenting the unseen world of homebound patients, it’s been my dream to share the story of my community with a public audience. I am so thrilled and humbled to bring UNREST to Independent Lens and have it reach the widest audience possible.

Brea’s debut film is her own personal story. She was a Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when she was struck down by a fever that left her bedridden. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, eventually losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors tell her it’s “all in her head,” she goes online and finds a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome. The doc follows Jennifer and her husband, Omar, newlyweds grappling with how to live in the face of a lifelong illness. In search of answers and initially bedbound, Jennifer sets off on a virtual voyage around the world, meeting four extraordinary ME patients in the US, UK, and Denmark. Their bedrooms connected by Skype and Facebook, these patients teach Jen how to make a life of meaning when everything changes.

The deal was negotiated by Lois Vossen for Independent Lens with the filmmakers being represented by Matt Burke of Submarine together with Abby Davis and Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content.

Unrest will remain on the festival trail with the next screening at the South By Southwest Film Festival in March.