Our article about the movie, Still Sophie, was our second most popular post in 2017. Sophie Salveson grabbed our hearts with her moving aphasia story, and she entertained us with her amazing voice.
We caught up with producer and cinematographer Chad McClarnon to hear how the film has been received as well as plans for release so you can see her story, too.
On the Film Festival Circuit
The film has been screened in 25 film festivals as well as a few non-festival spaces over the last year and a half. It has traveled through 15 states: Oklahoma, Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, California, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Washington, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina and Massachusetts.
There are still a few film festivals doing their schedules, so there is a chance it will screen in more states in the future.
Reactions to the Film
McClarnon marveled at the audience reaction:
This story really touches people. One of the more surprising reactions to me has been that of the treatment providers. Speech pathologist and therapists reach out to us after nearly every screening asking how they can show the film to students or to their fellow clinicians. Our amazing director, Caroline Knight, even traveled to Massachusetts and gave a presentation, along with the film, for a speech therapy conference this past year.
The film has been picking up awards left and right, which, of course, increases awareness of aphasia. Some of these awards:
- Best Documentary – Red Dirt International Film Festival
- Best TN Short Doc – Nashville Film Festival
- Best Documentary Short – deadCENTER Film Festival
- Best Documentary Short – Mid Teen Film Fest
- Best Documentary Short – Knoxville Film Festival
- Best TN Documentary Short – Knoxville Film Festival
The Future of the Film
The movie will definitely be out on iTunes in the future, but they’re currently negotiating with other platforms for distribution. McClarnon did let us know that he will keep the NAA in the loop so we can pass along viewing information whenever it’s available.
And What About Sophie?
McClarnon was able to give us an update about Sophie:
Sophie is doing great! And we had such a blast going around to the film festivals together. Last April, she underwent a stem cell treatment and has seen some significant gains with her aphasia. From everything she tells me, she loves seeing herself on the big screen. She’s constantly asking me when we’re going to do Still Sophie 2.
One of the things I hope people come to realize from this is that she is actually a brilliant actress and performer. She has the training, she has the background in it, and it shows. She takes direction incredibly well and her performances are full of surprises and nuance.
I’d love to see her take on roles in the narrative film space. While she obviously has to work really hard at the words, her emotional delivery is spot on perfect, and I certainly plan on casting her in something when I first get the chance.
We can’t wait to see her on the screen again. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about Still Sophie’s release for home viewing.