The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (www.kauffman.org), the largest American foundation to focus on entrepreneurship, today announced that the documentary, "Here. Us. Now. - A Family's Fight to Bring Medical Innovation Home," will be shown at a private screening at Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles on Friday, September 28, 2012, at 7 p.m.
Attending the private screening will be key leaders in the biotechnology industry, prominent physicians, patients and families affected by rare and genetic diseases, celebrity supporters, television network and film studio executives, and key members of the media. Celebrity guests confirmed to attend include Aldis Hodge ("Leverage"), Annika Marks ("The Surrogate"), DJ Kid Fish, Edwin Hodge ("Red Dawn"), Katrina Parker (NBC's "The Voice"), Micah Hauptman ("Parker") and Nestor Serrano ("24").
Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Rudy Poe, "Here. Us. Now." chronicles the story of how Hugh and Chris Hempel, parents with no medical backgrounds, use their entrepreneurial skills to find a breakthrough drug treatment for their eight year old identical twin daughters who are dying from a rare progressive neurological disease called Niemann Pick Type C. As the devastating effects of the disease begin to take hold, the Hempels enter a world of complex medical literature, complicated clinical trials and regulatory mazes where new drug discovery, invention and approval are slow and ineffective.
"We commissioned this film because despite unprecedented investment in medical research and development, new drug discovery and approval remains complex and the Hempel's story illustrates the problems within the system," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president, Kauffman Foundation. "We hope to encourage the creative instincts of entrepreneurs to connect with the disruptive force of patients, passionate parents, advocacy networks, reform-minded physicians, and biomedical scientists to accelerate the search for breakthrough treatments and cures for rare and genetic diseases."