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Edinburgh festival to host UK premiere of I Am Breathing

Feature documentary I Am Breathing is to receive its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and will also be screened around the world to mark Global Motor Neurone Disease Day.

It is the first title to be announced for the 2013 EIFF, which runs from June 19-30.

The film follows Neil Platt, a 33-year-old Yorkshireman who contracted MND. Paralyzed from the neck down with only months to live, he tells his story in a bid to raise awareness of the disease and dedicates the film to his one-year-old son.

I Am Breathing will receive its UK premiere on June 20 at the festival.

The following day, the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) and the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MDNA) will collaborate to promote awareness and raise funds with cinema and community screenings of the film worldwide.

Territories that have already agreed to participate include the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Balkans, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Directed by Morag McKinnon and Emma Davie, the film is a co-production between SDI Productions and Danish Documentary with investments by Creative Scotland, Danish Film Institute, Wellcome Trust, MNDA and the former UK Film Council. Broadcasters involved in the production are Channel 4, DR (Denmark) and YLE (Finland).

It received its world premiere in November at IDFA, Amsterdam; its Nordic premiere at Helsinki’s DocPoint in January; and its North American debut at the True False Film Festival at the end of February.

Producer Sonja Henrici said: “We are excited that Edinburgh, where Neil and Louise met, will be the hub of our Global Screening Day in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival.

“These collaborations are essential for experimenting with such a multi-platform release. We are keen to hear from other people and organisations who want to participate and expand the vision of this release.”

Chris Fujiwara, artistic director of EIFF, said: “We’re proud to host the premiere of this shattering film. I Am Breathing is a documentary that says a great deal, with great eloquence and heart, about the ability of humanity to sustain and express itself under the most terrible limitations.”

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