Ben Achtenberg, Fanlight's founder, received an Academy
Award nomination for Code Gray: Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing,
possibly the only nursing film ever so honored. Ben's other award-winning
documentaries have focused on such topics as parenting, homelessness,
disabilities, aging, and healthcare ethics. He currently serves
as Treasurer and Program Committee member of the Ignacio Martín-Baró
Fund for Mental Health & Human Rights, and is the Director of
Refuge Media Project which is producing a documentary,
Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture on
the healthcare and social service needs of refugee torture survivors
living in the United States.
In 2002, The Independent, the magazine of the Association
of Independent Video & Filmmakers (AIVF) interviewed Fanlight's
president Ben Achtenberg about the company's philosophy and goals.
To read the interview click
To view a brief version of Ben Achtenberg's professional resume,
Academy Award Nomination
CINE Golden Eagle
Freddie, International Health & Medical Media Awards
First Place, San Francisco International Film Festival
Silver Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival
Silver Award, Houston International Film Festival
Gold Medal, National Health Information Awards
Special Jury Award, New York Expo of Short Film
American Medical Writers Association
American Journal of Nursing
Most of the programs below have links to more extensive descriptions
(as well as purchasing information) on the Fanlight website.
Relations: A Film About Fathers and Sons In this personal
documentary, the filmmaker explores the costs and rewards of becoming
a full-time parent. With his own father, he reflects on changes
in fathering styles between the two generations.
Gray: Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing Academy Award
nominee for Best Short Documentary. This groundbreaking documentary
explores four open-ended cases in which nurses confront serious
ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day work. It offers no easy answers.
Incident Report Designed
for staff training to prevent patient abuse, this program dramatizes
an incident in which an elderly nursing home resident and her nurse
are both injured. Confronts many of the daily stresses which can
affect patient care.
Adaptive Design: Making it Better
In an innovative program, specialists
using "do it yourself" methods and materials, modify commercially
available equipment to better meet the needs of children with disabilities.
A Perspective of Hope
of Hope Produced for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
this film highlights a unique program linking schools of nursing
with nursing homes to improve student training, as well as the day-to-day
care of residents.
Your Way Adult and adolescent patients at the Dana-Farber
Cancer Center learn simple behavioral techniques which help them
reduce their anxiety and cope with the pain of cancer treatment.
Three: Reports from the Frontlines Exploring the realities
of contemporary nursing, this independent film demonstrates the
growing risk to patients and families as budget pressures lead hospitals
to cut back their nursing staffs.
for the Homeless
for the Homeless: You Can Never Give Up This documentary
examines the healthcare needs of homeless individuals and families,
and looks at several innovative programs healthcare workers have
created to meet the needs of people living on the streets.
Care: Inside a Children's Hospital The daily life of a pediatric
hospital is seen through the stories of three children and the many
staff members who care for them.
to Waste Three different hospitals demonstrate innovative
approaches their staff have developed for minimizing solid waste,
and for saving money at the same time.
Project Documenting a major study by the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, this short documentary profiles a provocative effort
to improve end-of-life care in hospitals through encouraging better
patient, family, and physician communication.
Not on the Sidelines
Nursing: Profiles in Compassion This program profiles several
dedicated psychiatric nurses, and the vital work they do in community
mental healthcare, in home health, and in the hospital.
Not on the
Sidelines: Living and Playing with a Disability This independent
documentary profiles four ordinary people whose lives were suddenly
changed by injury or illness when they were teens or young adults.
Challenging their disabilities, they have created new, active, and
the End of Life
at the End of Life Based on six case studies of seriously
ill hospitalized patients, this moving film focuses on the key roles
of nursing staff in improving patient-clinician communication in
This disturbing case study raises complex issues about medical prognosis
and religious belief in end-of-life decision-making. Part of the
Caring at the End of Life series.
Advance Directives A nursing team and physician meet to
discuss the difficulties they encounter in working with patients
on advance directives. Part of the Caring at the End of Life
Choices Through the story of one young visiting nurse and
her elderly patient, Gerardo, this challenging documentary explores
personal, professional, and ethical dilemmas faced by nurses working
in home care and community settings.