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May 4, 2016 5:10 PM ET

Archived: Acute Failure: Based on writer/director Lily Gareth’s own experience with serious illness, this film is a poignant and realistic tale of desperately clinging to youth while being dragged into adulthood

iCrowdNewswire - May 4, 2016

Acute Failure

by Lily Cunningham


Based on writer/director Lily Gareth’s own experience with serious illness, this film is a poignant and realistic tale of desperately clinging to youth while being dragged into adulthood. It’s not so much about getting sick as it is about getting better. It’s about growing up and coping.


About The Project

About a year ago, writer/director/film student Lily Gareth started thinking about writing her first feature. She wanted to tell a story about transitioning from youth to adulthood, a phase she and her friends were about to enter. Then, after months of feeling strangely weak and nauseous, Lily was rushed to the hospital and recieved a life changing diagnosis: Acute Renal Failure. Suddenly, both her feature and her life were put in a wholly different context. At dialysis 3 times a week in 4 hour sessions, she began to write her first full-length feature script. Acute Failure follows Phoebe Woe, a fictional character in similar circumstances, as she navigates the world of being sick while being young, unbeknownst to many of her friends.


Phoebe is a 21 year old aspiring actress from a small east coast town now living in Los Angeles. Directionless and fairly unmotivated, Phoebe coasts through her days of attempted partying and auditioning, but her illness hinders her from being able to keep up.


Our story picks up about 2 months after Phoebe has been released from the hospital and is adjusting to her new reality. An insecure, unsure young woman, she tries to live the typical “young adult” life, but finds it just isn’t for her, nor she for it.  


She is called home for a weekend to be evaluated for a kidney transplant from her mother, so off she trudges to the small town of Ashford, CT (where the majority of the film will be filmed, Lily’s own hometown; the main set will be her home which will save immensely budget-wise). There, she finds friends and family much the same as when she left, and learns to let go of the childhood and innocence to which she was subconsciously clinging. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s awkward…Never melodramatic and bordering on hyperrealistic, Acute Failure is a poignant tale of falling apart and growing up that will ring true with everyone.


The timing of the shooting of this film is paramount. About a month after wrapping filming in CT, Lily will be receiving her kidney transplant in Los Angeles and hopes the editing of the film will be a catharsis for the scariness associated with the surgery. 


The cast and crew of this project have worked tirelessly to get the film to this point.  With their passion, dedication, and its nature of subject, they are ready to see it through to its completion. We need your support, financial or otherwise, to make this film. Join us in telling this fresh, important story!


Current Team

Maggie Manyan
Lily Cunningham

About This Team

After meeting at a party their first week of freshman year at Cal State Northridge, Maggie Manyan and Lily Gareth developed a strong personal and professional relationship. They proceeded to co produce several short films over the next couple of years, with Lily writing and directing and Maggie acting. They dubbed their duo “Magurls Movies” and expanded their circle to include other close friends and collaborators they met at film school.


   Lily Gareth- Writer/Co-Director/Actor



  Maggie Manyan- Co-Director/Actor


 Mary Onyango- Assistant Director 



  Robert Ovan- Cinematographer


 Marcus Johnson- Assistant Camera


 Joshua Holly- Post Production Supervisor 


 Diana Danielian- Production Coordinator 


 Glenn Miller- Script Supervisor 


 Chris Sankey- Sound


 Melissa Manukyan- Wardrobe/Make-



Contact Information:

Lily Cunningham

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