Monday, November 17, 2014

FLIFF 2014 Presents “Every Child Counts” A Triumphant Bahamian Story

Documentary of Bahamas School for Special Kids a hit at Film Festival

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – November 14, 2014  - “Every Child Counts “ the poignant and touching documentary about a school in The Bahamas providing an educational opportunity for children with special needs, recently premiered during the 29th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival,

The documentary written, produced and directed by Wendy Loten, a seasoned producer and director, tells the story of a school in Abaco Bahamas, founded by a resident of the community, Lynn Major.

Major the administrator of the school, along with her husband, adopted twin boys at the age of 3 1/2. The couple discovered that both boys had severe developmental delays and would need special education, and because the Island did not have an educational option for the twins, the MaJors determined to create an option.  The formation of the Special Ed school, ECC (Every Child Counts) was the result of Lyn Major’s determined efforts along with parents with similar needs, as well as the help of the local Catholic church’s Reverend Stan Kolasa, St. Francis De Sales and Dr. S. Kossack, of Florida International University.

The documentary chronicles many of the success stories of the school including that of children who were unable to talk, or walk and through the untiring efforts of the volunteers and teachers are able to live much improved lives.  Artistic talents and skills have been uncovered in some of the children, others have been successfully placed in jobs in the outside world and many of the current students even while in the midst of developmental challenges, are expressing awesome goals for their future.

A recurring visitor to The Bahamas since the age of 16, Canadian Wendy Loten, expressed that she was “captured by the work at ECC”, and decided to tell the story to introduce others to the triumph of the human heart and spirit. The President of Loten Media Inc., an independent company based in Burlington, Ontario, Loten has produced programming for every television network in Canada.  Her Awards include a Cable Ace Award nomination and Gemini Award nomination for the Nature Connection series.

When she decided to produce the ECC documentary, Loten called on her friend, Paul Mockler, who  has worked on hundreds of commercial, documentary and dramatic films throughout his extensive 35-year career.  Mockler, who was already in The Bahamas at the time, in Grand Bahama, Island, has done most of his productions underwater, and was somewhat new to the type of documentary Loten was asking his help with.  He agreed to work with Loten, and according to the cinematographer of the IMAX underwater children’s adventure, “Flight of the Aquanaut”, “Working on the ECC project was a labor of love that changed my life.”

The carefully crafted and touching drama was well received at the Film Festival with the inspirational drama bringing out a variety of emotions from the audience including the immediate offer by a number of persons to begin contributing to the ECC Program.

The documentary is expected to be aired in The Bahamas in January of 2015.

More information on ECC is available at http://www.everychildcountsabaco.org/home.html

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