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Igniting the Spark of Life in people with dementia

Ruby’s Choice

Announcing Michael Budd, Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

On 29th August 2021, live on stage at the Global Premiere of Ruby’s Choice his film about dementia, Michael Budd was officially awarded Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life. The certificate was presented to Michael via Facetime by Hilary Lee, President of the Foundation, in front of an excited audience who had just viewed the film.

Producer and Director Michael Budd and his team from Amazing People Pictures brought this groundbreaking film to fruition despite many challenges, not least filming in Sydney during the full blown pandemic in 2020.  Michael’s boutique film production company was founded in London and is based in Sydney. Michael Budd is a Producer, Director and Actor with a vision to help Australia produce outstanding films that are out-of-the-box, original and innovative.

“As the director of Ruby’s Choice I drew on my personal experiences interacting with people with dementia, including my grandmother. My aim was to carefully portray dementia in a highly accurate and respectful way as a result.” Michael Budd said.

For the fundraiser at the premiere Michael generously donated a picture from the film of Jane Seymour in her role as Ruby, that he had signed.

Michael passionately supports Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, the official charity associated with the film. The Foundation enriches the lives of people with dementia, thus igniting their Spark of Life, in people with dementia, their families and carers globally.

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A Globally Important Film of Our Time

By Hilary Lee, President, Dementia Care International

On 29th August, 2021 the Australian Feature Film Ruby’s Choice had its World Premiere at the CinefestOz film festival in Margaret River, Western Australia.

Ruby’s Choice is groundbreaking and perception shifting produced with a sensitivity and insight to the topic that can only come from personal experience.

The film explores the humanising story of a grandmother dealing with dementia, whose family re-discover the value of her presence in their lives.
Having been involved in the project for 3 ½ years, seeing the finished feature film in the cinema took my breath away. Thanks to the perceptive direction of Michael Budd, a well-crafted screenplay by Paul Mahoney, and experienced cinematography by Steve Arnold, the production is the most authentic and inspiring film about dementia I have ever seen.

As the audience we were feeling the experience of the family and their turmoil of emotions around Ruby’s experience of dementia with their everyday life challenges, navigating theirs with hers.

Ruby’s experience of dementia is exceptionally portrayed by Jane Seymour OBE opening the door for us to learn what it is like to have dementia in such a natural way where we can feel the different emotions and experiences.

The story is thoughtful and wise because it explains why people with dementia may have uncharacteristic behaviour, and role models how we can offer empowering support.
One leaves the cinema enriched from the experience, and aware that people with dementia have life wisdom to contribute to everyone around them who all benefit.

The story is particularly touching as it is told through the eyes of Ruby’s grand-daughter Tash, played by Coco Jack Gillies, a talented young Australian actor. Tash’s teenage voice empowers all of us to remember the emotionally healing power of love and her special relationship with Ruby illustrates the value of intergenerational relationships.

This is a story for all ages as it explores relevant challenges that anyone may experience in our lives and shows how these can be overcome. The script is woven with depth, drama and quirky Australian humour.
To me, this film has taken cinema full circle to the best of how it was in the past with authentic performances by each cast member and beautiful, creative cinematography. One leaves the cinema feeling immensely uplifted, richer and wiser.

Film is a fundamental way of reaching the community to start a conversation about thinking differently about dementia and how to value and treasure people with dementia as human beings. People with dementia are looking to be accepted, supported and included in society.

Many of us have someone with dementia in our family and we want to enable our loved ones to keep living, still enjoying life to the fullest

Ruby’s Choice – when shared with the broader community – will start to shift the perception of what is possible for people with dementia when supporting them to continue to feel  loved, as well as have meaningful roles,  and seeing each person in their uniqueness.

Ruby’s Choice, Executive Produced by Sir Owen Glenn and made with the support of Glenn Family Foundation & Directed and Produced by Michael Budd, Owner of Amazing People Pictures, is expected to be screened in Australian and New Zealand cinemas in​ early 2022.

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Jane Seymour accepts award of Honorary Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

Highly regarded and accomplished actor Jane Seymour OBE has accepted the award of Honorary Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life for her authentic portrayal of the character Ruby, a loving person and grandmother with dementia in the inspirational feature film Ruby’s Choice.

Jane is well known for her extensive career in film, theatre and TV and through her performance puts a spotlight on the human perspective of dementia. She draws inspiration from her own mother who was a Dutch prisoner of war and a courageous role model.

Jane is inspired by the global humanitarian work of Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and shared with Jane Verity and Hilary Lee, Founder and President of the foundation and expressed her appreciation for the honour.

‘Jane Seymour is such a beautiful, wise and authentic Ambassador, with a strong humanitarian spirit, and we are delighted that she has accepted this honour.’
Hilary Lee, President, Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

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WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE:
RUBY’S CHOICE

Dementia Care International and Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life are proud to announce the World Premiere of Ruby’s Choice which will light up cinema screens at the upcoming 2021 CinefestOZ Festival in Margaret River, Western Australia.

Directed by Michael Budd, and written by Paul Mahoney, Ruby’s Choice is a film with a unique and positive perspective about dementia that will touch the hearts of all who see it. The film explores the humanising story of a grandmother dealing with dementia, whose family re-discover the value of her presence in their lives.

Michael has brought together a phenomenal cast and crew led by the incredible Jane Seymour in the title role, alongside Jacqueline McKenzie, Stephen Hunter and Coco Jack Gillies. Jane Seymour’s sensitive and authentic portrayal of Ruby enables us to see that people with dementia are just like us, with the same emotions and feelings.

“As the director of Ruby’s Choice I drew on my personal experiences interacting with people with dementia, including my grandmother. My aim was to carefully portray dementia in a highly accurate and respectful way as a result.” Michael Budd said.

Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life has a natural synergy with Ruby’s Choice, as the Foundation works to transform the experience of dementia from being disempowered and forgotten, to being emotionally connected and loved. The Foundation aims to enrich the lives of people with dementia around the world, thus igniting their spark of life.

Tickets to the film’s premiere at CinefestOZ will also include a delectable high tea canapé soirée before the screening, accompanied by live music at Margaret River HEART. The filmmakers will host an enlightening Q&A after the film where visitors will be able to hear behind-the-scenes stories of how the film was made.

Ruby’s Choice will premiere at Margaret River HEART on Sunday 29 August with tickets available to purchase online now. Click the button below for tickets:
View the Ruby’s Choice Trailer below:

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Watch Hilary Lee’s message for the cast and crew as filming wraps up in Australia:

Jane Seymour reveals the challenges of filming a movie in the COVID era

Read this article from The Senior:

https://www.thesenior.com.au/story/6857201/rubys-choice-to-share-film-proceeds/

Acclaimed Philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn of the Glenn Family Foundation, is funding the production of ‘Ruby’s Choice’, an Australian Feature film by Amazing People Pictures starring Jane Seymour OBE. Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life is the official charity associated with the film.

‘On behalf of the Glenn Family Foundation, I have chosen to support the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life with 50% of the profits of Ruby’s Choice.

This innovative film will not only help shift perceptions about dementia, but by supporting the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, it will also enable the provision of much needed practical help. It will enable this Australian based health promotion charity to alleviate emotional suffering and ignite the Spark of Life in people with dementia, their families and carers,’ Sir Owen states.

Ruby’s Choice is a globally important film of our time. It tells the story of Ruby, a woman living alone with early dementia and its impact on her and her family when she is no longer able to live independently. The film shows through Ruby’s granddaughter Tash’s eyes the humanity of dementia – that there is still a person there with memories, emotion and value.

The story of Ruby’s Choice shares the same heart-centred message as Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life. Ruby’s Choice is about showing the importance of love and compassion. The film role models how people with dementia can live active and meaningful lives and still have so much to contribute.

Ruby’s Choice, written by the Australian award-winning screen and script writer Paul Mahoney, was inspired from his own previous personal experiences and insight of working in aged and dementia care in Australia.

Over the past 2 years, the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and Dementia Care International have been supporting Producer and Director Michael Budd  and his team from Amazing People Pictures in the ground work of this film.  This boutique film production company was founded in London and is based in Sydney. Michael Budd is a Director-Actor with a vision to help Australia produce outstanding films that are out-of-the-box, original and innovative.

Highly regarded and accomplished actor Jane Seymour OBE, will portray the character Ruby, a loving person and grandmother. Jane is well known for her extensive career in film, theatre and TV and through her performance will put a spotlight on the human perspective of dementia.. She draws inspiration from her own mother who was a Dutch prisoner of war and a courageous role model.