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Maine Behavioral Healthcare
  Spring Harbor Hospital News

Award-winning local film centerpiece of free Alzheimer's program on May 16

(May 7, 2007)--A locally produced film about a Maine fishing family whose patriarch is stricken with Alzheimer's disease will be the focus of a free community education program offered May 16 at Maine Medical Center.
'Sundowning,' a full-length feature film written and directed by Jim Cole of Portland, takes its name from the agitated state experienced by many Alzheimer's patients as evening approaches. Originally released in 2005, the film has since won several prestigious awards, including the Director's Award at the Cinequest Film Festival and a special jury prize at the 2005 Independent Film Festival of Boston .

Though a fictional account, 'Sundowning' also has earned high praise from the Maine Alzheimer's Association and other experts for both its depiction of symptoms suffered by Alzheimer's patients and the difficulties their family members face.
"The medical subject matter is handled very well in this film," says John Campbell, MD, director of the inpatient geriatric psychiatry program at Maine Medical Center, "and so are the emotions portrayed by the family members dealing with the illness."
Campbell, who spends his days treating patients with Alzheimer's, says these reasons led to making the film the centerpiece of next week's public education program. "I have given many talks on Alzheimer's disease and dementia," he notes, "but this film touches on family dynamics and other difficult aspects of the illness that would not necessarily come up in a typical education program."
Campbell's program-also featuring writer/director Cole--takes place 6 to 9 PM at the Dana Center Auditorium at Maine Medical Center on Bramhall Street in Portland. A question-and-answer session for audience members will occur following the film.
"This is a different way to engage people in a discussion about illnesses of the brain," Campbell says. "I hope that both the film and audience questions will help family members and their loved ones cope better with the symptoms of Alzheimer's."
For more information or to register for the May 16 educational program, please call 207-885-8570.

In partnership, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Maine Medical Center in Portland offer the region's most complete mental health and co-occurring substance abuse treatment, training, and research programs. To learn more, call 1-866-857-6644 or visit

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123 Andover Road, Westbrook, Maine 04092 | 1-866-857-6644, 207-761-2200