Feature documentary UNBREAKABLE: THE MARK POLLOCK STORY to open exclusively at Light House Cinema, Dublin on October 3rd, followed by a nationwide tour
Filmed over six years Unbreakable is the story of blind athlete Mark Pollock’s tragic fall that left him paralyzed and how he found his courage again.
Directed by award winning filmmaker Ross Whitaker, this inspirational documentary will open exclusively at the Light House Cinema in Dublin on Friday 3rd October 2014 for a limited run. There will be a national tour during this limited run which will feature a Q&A with Mark Pollock. The trailer for this film can be viewed here: http://www.markpollockfilm.com/trailer/
The film follows the almost unbelievable hardship and tragedy that Mark has encountered and how he has moved from them. Having been diagnosed as blind at the age of 22, Mark was a Commonwealth Games medal winner and competed in races across deserts, mountains and polar ice caps. Upon losing his sight he became the first blind person to race the South Pole.
Tragedy struck again however when only weeks from his wedding he fell 25ft from a second story window that left Mark near death and paralysed from the waist down.
The audience is brought through Mark’s bedside in the spinal hospital, with the friendship that Mark and filmmaker being shown as something really special, delicate and personal. This film is six years in the making as it tells the story of Mark’s rehabilitation and his mission to find and connect people to fast track a cure for paralysis, a mission which gives the audience a glimpse of the frontiers of robotics and medical science.
Mark’s fall happened on the 2nd of July 2010 and he was hospitalised for over a year. The film follows his life as he learns to meet the challenges he is faced with and find a balance between accepting his disabilities and hoping for a cure.
It follows the Mark Pollock trust and the fundraising event ” Run in the Dark” which allowed Mark to follow an aggressive physical therapy regime and become the first person in the worold to own a set of robotic legs.
One of the sequences in the film shows Mark speaking at an event. “One of the main things I talk about is the dichotomy of acceptance and hope. When I broke my back, I was advised to accept my situation and move on, but unless we have hope how can we ever change things. Without acceptance there is no start line, but without hope there is no finish line. Somewhere in the middle we will make important progress.”
A special preview screening will take place at the Light House Cinema on October 2nd, with the film opening at the cinema on October 3rd. The national tour of the film commences on Sunday 5th October in Killarney, and will take in locations including Cork, Waterford, Thurles, Offaly, Galway, Portlaoise, Kilkenny and Athlone, with a number of other venues to be confirmed. Access CINEMA have partnered with the producers to help bring the film to a national audience at these venues. The film will also have schools’ screenings in association with Science Foundation Ireland to raise awareness of how science can have a positive impact on people’s lives, as reflected in Mark’s rehabilitation. The schools’ screenings will take place at locations including Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Limerick, Westport, Naas, Dunboyne and Drogheda, with others to be announced shortly.
Director Ross Whitaker said, “To be given such incredible access to a compelling story is a huge privilege and opportunity as a filmmaker. At times it was heartbreaking to be so close to Mark and Simone as they struggled in the wake of Mark’s fall. In the end though, watching them became an uplifting experience as these amazing people built a new life that will no doubt help many people with spinal cord injuries in the future.”
Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story was produced with the participation of the Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann; RTÉ and Rehab.