Winner 2013

Life According to Sam

HBO Documentary Films and Fine Films LLC

A scrawny boy with wire-rimmed glasses, a bald head and the gaunt face of an elderly man looks squarely into the camera near the beginning of Life According to Sam. “I put myself in front of you to let know you don’t need to feel bad for me,” he says. And you don’t. Indeed, for the duration of this superb documentary, you will mostly likely feel honored to be in the presence of Sam Berns. Sam is 13 when the film begins. With the help of his parents and friends, he is coping with Progeria, a rare disease manifested by accelerated aging. The film chronicles Sam’s everyday life at home and at school, where he is active and popular, as it highlights his parents’ efforts ­–- both are doctors –- to doggedly pursue answers to the Progeria riddle. Sam’s is a distinctly individual story, a life in fast-forward mode that speaks to our own mortality and to what we choose to do with the finite time we have. For acquainting viewers with a teenager bearing up to the ravages of an improbable, unforgiving condition with amazing grace, thoughtfulness and humor, Life According to Sam receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins.
 Producers: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine, Miriam Weintraub. Senior Producer: Nancy Abraham. Director: Sean Fine. Editor: Jeff Consiglio. Director of Photography: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine.