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TODAY news for Thursday, January 28, 2008

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

PossAbilities film to screen at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

CBS 2 in Palm Springs recently aired a news story about �Armed for the Challenge� the night before its premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
CBS 2 in Palm Springs recently aired a news story about “Armed for the Challenge” the night before its premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
“Armed for the Challenge,” a PossAbilities documentary short film, is an official selection of the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It will also screen at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.

The film features PossAbilities director “One-arm” Willie Stewart while training for the physically challenged triathlon USA championships. Determined to help others with disabilities, this world-class athlete takes you on a ride through humor and passion, proving that disability doesn’t mean inability.

“‘Armed for the Challenge,’ showcases one of the world’s most amazing athletes…and he changes lives for the better,” says Bob Babbitt, Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame and co-founder of Competitor magazine. “When you spend time with Willie Stewart you are exposed to his zest for life that he shares every day with the people who need it the most. Do not miss this movie!”

According to Patricia Thio, special projects editor of University relations and director of the film, “Willie’s story is so encouraging and inspirational. It is a privilege to be able to share this story with others.”

Produced by the office of University relations, the project received support from Kent Allison of ARK Films, a San Diego-based film production company. Mr. Allison donated his services by co-directing and filming.

In addition, Stephen Robertson of educational support systems at Loma Linda University donated his talent by writing and recording an original song for the film, titled “Possible.” 

PossAbilities is a community outreach program developed by the Loma Linda University Rehabilitation, Orthopaedic, & Neurosciences Institute. Its goal is to offer disabled individuals, born with or suffering from a permanent physical injury, a sense of community, providing activities and practical help to integrate them back into life, once again becoming valuable members of their communities.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will showcase the documentary on Friday, January 25, at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday, January 30, at 7:00 p.m. SBIFF was recently named by Variety as one of the “50 Unmissable Film Festivals” in the world, and was one of the few American festivals on the list. As Variety declares, “This jewel of a California coastal town sells out screenings and always draws heavyweight filmmakers, stars, and producers for panels and galas.” For more information about the film festival, visit <www.sbfilmfestival.org>.

For those who cannot attend the screening and would like to see the film, DVDs are available, as well as presentation packages for schools and organizations. The presentation will include a screening of “Armed for the Challenge” and Willie Stewart as guest speaker. Other options are available, including a filmmaker’s talk/Q&A and live performance of “Possible” by Stephen Robertson.

If interested, contact the PossAbilities office by calling (909) 558-6384, e-mailing possabilities@llu.edu, or by visiting  www.possabilities.com. Donations will go toward supporting the disabled through the PossAbilities program.

By Richard Weismeyer

TODAY news for Thursday, January 28, 2008