Share this project


Share this project

A film about the power of music and the social worker who uses it to “awaken” patients with dementia and Alzheimer's.
A film about the power of music and the social worker who uses it to “awaken” patients with dementia and Alzheimer's.
653 backers pledged $51,620 to help bring this project to life.

Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.

Have a question?

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Dallas on

      Last contact I had was in Dec 2014 asking for more money.

      I completed the survey asking me which email should be used to send a link to download the theme song but nothing came (just double checked).

      Can you please email me the link?
      (send a message a year ago and recd no reply)

    2. Missing avatar

      Anne Lloyd on

      Received my copy of the DVD a few days ago.

    3. Brent Dakis on

      I am also still waiting on my copy of the film, I can understand everyone's frustration, and I can also understand the organisers stress (Taking care of rewards is a lot of hard work!) but I am still bummed I don't have my copy yet.. Would you consider setting up a site or form people can submit who have not received their copy yet? It seems there are a few of us...

    4. Missing avatar

      Anne Lloyd on

      Oh, Joyce Burton, you give me hope for a DVD in my mailbox soon! I am seeing Music & Memory from another angle, as my Mom is in transitional care for a few weeks between the hospital and home. They have a strong M&M program, and setting up her iPod was one of the first (and best) things they have put in place for her!

    5. Missing avatar

      Joyce Burton on

      My DVD finally arrived today. I'm looking forward to seeing the film at last!

      Hope the rest of you get yours soon...

    6. Missing avatar

      Steven on

      I would be interested to hear if anyone has received their Kickstarter DVDs or download links.

      This last update seems like they've signed off on the project and now Michael Rossato-Bennett doesn't respond to comments or direct emails.

      Pretty disappointing that (it seems) many of the backers are still waiting to see the film even though it is now available to the general public at a considerably cheaper price...

    7. Missing avatar

      Joyce Burton on

      Nothing in my mailbox so far, either. I am happy that the film is doing well, but am sorely disappointed that original Kickstarter backers like us still have not been able to see the movie that we believed in enough to support financially almost two-and-a-half years ago. Nor has Michael Rossato-Bennet answered the status-inquiry e-mails I have sent him privately through this website. I don't like using the comments page for this kind of inquiry, but what other options do we have to let you know we haven't gotten the DVD's?

    8. Aviatrix on

      Mr. Michael Rossato-Bennet,
      I sent an email in November, as I noticed Netflix was streaming the Movie as well as ITunes. As a backer, I understood that with my support, I'd be receiving a downloadable link. Per Kickstarter, you logged on after I sent my message, however, you chose not to reply. Then I sent a subsequent email the first week of December. Again, Kickstarter stated that you had logged on, however you again chose not to reply to my second email. I would sincerely appreciate the courtesy of a reply, as I supported this project in confidence two years ago. Thank you.

    9. Missing avatar

      Judith Shotwell on

      Still eagerly waiting for my DVD. I saw the movie and it was wonderful. Am I really going to get a DVD as promised....and WHEN? I so want to share this with colleagues. Please contact me if you need any further information to get it to me. Thank you!

    10. ralphs on

      Still no download link for backers?

    11. Dianne Strong on

      I missed the deadline to respond! I was out of the country. Please contact me. I believed in this film fm the beginning and hope I will get to see it.

    12. Chantelle Marie Bombardier-Yu on

      My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed tonight's screening!
      You have done a great job with the film and we wish you continued luck and success:)

    13. iV on

      I just found out that the film screened here in Nashville at the Nashville Film Festival. Unfortunately I had no idea so I missed it.

      I'm one of the $500 donors and missed the NYC rollout because there wasn't enough advance notice to plan accordingly. I've not seen anything yet about a date for the private online screening of the film and no details about the possibility of hosting a private screening here in my hometown of Nashville (where Vanderbilt University has been doing some interesting research on music/brain relationships). I'm assuming that you did, indeed, at least follow through with the promise to list the $500 and above donors in the credit for the film.

      Being in a creative field myself, I know how difficult it is to stay on top of everything in the DIY world. My schedule is busy, too. I understand that the film is a labor of love - and I think we were all happy to contribute out of love for the project and your vision. However, there were also expectations created when you attached promises to levels of giving. It would be unfortunate to have the goodwill of the community sour for lack of communication - and delivery on the expectations you created.

      I want to make sure I continue to stay on top of any new developments and opportunities to help promote your worthwhile efforts. Please let us know what we can expect moving forward.

      All the best,


    14. ralphs on

      I"m so eagerly waiting for the film - can't wait :-)

      So who did receive the invitation? I didn't either - pledged for the download, but no info yet.

      Hope to hear from you soon...


    15. Missing avatar

      Kimberly on

      Ah, darnit - did I miss the 2/12 screening? Was it confirmed that was the cast & crew screening? It doesn't look like I received the invitation. Nevertheless - CONGRATS ON THE SUNDANCE WIN!

    16. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Dear Carlos,

      First off, thank you for your support and let me say I understand your feelings. I hope you understand that I worked for four years creating this film, largely unpaid and we have accomplished something big. All of the last 3 films that have won the Sundance Audience Award have been nominated for the Academy Award. If I put the film on YouTube we will be disqualified from the Academy and the audience will not be as big as if we do a real funded roll out. I want you to understand that if we give it away on YouTube (we will do that eventually) we will actually do less good. Also, I will have no chance of receiving anything for my four years of work and you will have to tell my two kids and my wife who have been eating oatmeal for the last few years! LOL.

      (Also, I want to tell you I do not feel famous- it is a documentary and I am a humble documentary maker, nothing more.)

      Seriously, a big roll out, real press, real political change and some compensation is only possible with distribution partners. We are actually in talks with Netflix and will be rolling Alive Inside out post haste, don't you worry!

      Also, I do not feel I am abandoning my Kickstarter peeps- I love them and respect their feelings and needs (out of proportion to the small amount they contributed to the final budget of the film).

      I hope people did not miss our announcement at the end of our last update - we will be doing a special screening for Kickstarter people only in NYC and online screening as well on February 12th. Will you come or participate? I hope so.

      It is no joke, winning this award will let us help these elders in a way putting the film on YouTube can not accomplish, but that said, I am deeply sorry it has taken me so long to fulfill your rewards. I wish I could have done it sooner. I do promise that your wait is not in vain. The film is better for the time I have worked on it and the result far greater than I could have imagined. Not only for me, but for the elders waiting for us, overmedicated and alone.

      You can be proud of backing this film. You are part of our victory and all we are now going to accomplish together.

      I hope you are with us- let me know if you still have unanswered questions,

      Yours in movies, life and music,

      Michael Rossato-Bennett

    17. Missing avatar

      Carlos Marchante on

      You say, "No one will put it on television if it is available on DVD or Netflix..." I say, who cares??? Why are you relying on OLD media now??? We're in the age of the internet and people stream now more than ever. Billions of people watch YouTube everyday. Tens of millions of people watch Netflix. Original content created by Netflix has even won Emmys. If you really cared about getting your message out to the LARGEST audience then you would've fulfilled your promises to your backers by now. I honestly feel that your newly found fame has caused you to sell out and ditch your Kickstarter backers.

    18. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Hi Claire,

      If people are unable to see the first showing, we will arrange for a second one.

      How is that?

    19. Claire Panke on

      Congratulations on winning the Sundance Documentary Audience Award - what an honor!
      As a filmmaker myself I know how DVD releases get tricky and hopefully people will understand the delay, as you mentioned the broad scope of viewers following the Sundance success will mean that the donations are going that much farther for the project and for many older adults and their families.
      Wondering if the Feb. 12th screening in NYC counts as the "cast and crew" reward screening. I'm going to be at a Positive Aging conference, returning that night, and will be sad to miss it! Maybe it's an extra screening for your Kickstarter supporters. Proud to be one of them! Can't wait to see the finished film.

    20. Missing avatar

      Leslie Ulrey on

      Congratulations on the Audience Award! Super awesome! So happy for you. Can't wait to see the finished film.

    21. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you so much for your support and I understand how you feel. I am so sorry that you have not seen the film yet- it is just now finished anyway. It took me a long time to get the film to where I wanted it to be. I have been working for some time, on my own dime, with no support because I believed in this project and the good it can do. This victory is not just for me. It will change life for many elders living with dementia in nursing homes. Going to Sundance is not just a victory for me, it is a victory for them. You see, Sundance opens doors and the only way Sundance will show a film is if it is a world premier. So, I can not show it or release DVDs either- When you have a real release of a film like we are going to have now, first comes theatrical and then television and then DVDs- no one will put it on television if it is available on DVD or Netflix. I feel bad that you are having to wait, but if you believe in what we are doing I hope you could celebrate this- this is really the best thing for the cause. This is going to start a huge conversation about how we care for people with dementia, This path is the best way to get the film seen by the most people. However, I do feel bad that I have not been able to fulfill my obligations to you. To try and make you happy I will be doing a series of special showings just for Kickstarter people after Sundance- one online and one here in NYC. I think all the delays will be worth it in the end and I hope you can see this. Again, I do understand your feelings. Thank you for being part of this journey!

    22. Jason Stone on

      Michael it's great for awareness and for you as a film maker that the film is going to Sundance, great congratulations on that but you really have a responsibility to us (the people who made it happen) to keep up your end of the bargain and deliver on what we were expecting. You have been telling us for some time now that it would be in our hands after the October premier

    23. Joel Jupp on

      No info on website... Kickstarter should refund the $50k.

    24. Jason Stone on

      Any news? Have not heard anything since the October premier?

    25. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Dear everyone!

      Thank you for your patience- it will be worth it!!!

      We are in the final stretch now- Yesterday the film went into audio mix- The composer is done- Tuesday we are giving the film to the color corrector-

      We just have to finish our music negotiations and we are ready to go!

      We are very grateful! This film is for you!!! Get ready for your invitation for the NYC Premiere!


      Michael and the Alive Inside Team!

    26. Israel Rodríguez on

      What up with the film?

    27. ralphs on

      Really strange - I'm one of the backers and haven't heared anything for ages


    28. H20Methodman


    29. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Hi Terese,

      Thank you so much for your support and so sorry we have been so busy!

      We will take care of that immediately!

      My email is

      Send me info on your uncle and his address and we will get him his music ASAP!


    30. Therese Griffin on


      I am one of your supporters at the $75.00 level. I have been contacting you for months regarding the status of the delivery of the Ipod with customized music to my 85 year old Uncle. I have heard from no one. Although I am a huge supporter of this project and the movie, I am quite disappointed about how you have neglected your project backers and have not delivered on your commitments. I hope to hear from you ASAP.

      Therese Griffin, R.N.

    31. H20Methodman

      status please?

    32. Christina

      The same can also be said of the importance of music as universal communication when dealing with people who have disabilities - especially where they are unable to communicate with others. My daughter is severely Autistic, functionally non-verbal, and she has an amazing love of music, as do many of her peers at her special needs school. Without question music helps immensely....

    33. Missing avatar

      Beth on

      Michael-- I'm a hospice volunteer and several of my patients have had dementia. After seeing the clip of your movie I created a music therapy iPod for the hospice program, and I also created a playlist on my own iPhone for one of my patients. The effect was amazing! After spending an hour listening to her favorite old country music she was responsive, interactive, and relaxed, where before she had been withdrawn and aggressive. Hope this movie helps bring happiness to many people suffering dementia!

    34. Klaus Mehofer on

      Thank you for your work! I'm very curious about the final version of the film!

    35. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      Hi Christian, we will make the download DRM free. And the film will be also be available on Blu-Ray, but we don't have a release date in mind for that just yet.

    36. Missing avatar

      Christian Peters on

      Also, can we get a Blu-Ray instead of a DVD if we pledge a bit more?

    37. Missing avatar

      Christian Peters on

      Will the HD download be DRM free? It would be unusable to me if it didn't work on Linux.

    38. Meredith Pizzi, MT-BC on

      Michael, Thank you for your work to capture these moments on film! As a Board Certified Music Therapist, I have the honor and privilege of seeing how music impacts people's lives every single day! Thank you for your efforts to bring this to a wider audience! This message is truly so important!

    39. Dallas on

      Thank you :)

      After making a small contribution I linked the video to my Facebook page in case one of my friends would also share it. I added the following comment.

      My best wishes to for your success.


      If like me, you have dealt with Alzheimer's in your family now or in the past you might find this interesting.

      If I could have found those bloody 8-track cassettes of Dad's Slim Dusty and Tom Jones collection when he was alive, we might have heard him sing the first line to all of them over and over again.

      Secretly,, we would have loved it.

    40. Michael Rossato-Bennett 2-time creator on

      The greatest pleasure for me in this whole process is hearing the stories of people like JackieO and Diane G. When I hear a story about the love someone has for anyone, I can not help but be touched. It gives me faith in the future, in humanity. I am such a sucker for this! Looking at it now, I think maybe that is why I make films, because I am drawn to hunt out stories of love, to show the love that is hidden from view, in the places and hearts you expect it least! Thanks for your stories, keep them coming, they inspire all of us!!!

    41. Natalie Millman on

      I've never seen a film that featured a social worker. Moreover, I'm an entering social work student, who is also a musician, with a deep interest in gerontological issues. Keep up the awesome work, this seems like a fantastic project!

    42. Missing avatar

      JackieO on

      I just read about this project and immediately thought of my grandmother. She is ninety one, with Alzheimer's and dementia. She showed symptoms almost twenty years ago when she isolated herself from family and friends. Five years later, she moved into a nursing home so she could have twenty four hour care. Occupational therapy and physical therapy both help her condition but mostly to keep her stable. There are times she is happy but she is also often confused and depressed. She stopped listening to music years ago even though it was something she loved. Seeing the how this project has helped others with her condition, it makes me hopeful that it will help her too. I have sponsored an iPod for her and also asked family to sponsor additional iPods in her name. Thank you so much for this inspiring project

    43. Missing avatar

      Diane Germaine on

      Hi Michael: All the best for this. Great project. Interesting fact: When my Dad died in 1998 (I was there) I placed my earphones on his head as he was going away and played his favorite Jazz tapes. He moved his great eyebrows and was smiling, peaceful, and I held his hand and I know he knew I was there. I know in his head he was talking to me in images as if we were both listening to the music together at the same time and sharing that. I will never forget that. And I have written about it in poetry and in memoir. Music is the universal language. This project is important. I believe in it. And my memoir song for my Dad is Nina Simone's version of "Everything Must Change" a sad song but very steep - though not the song I played for him over the ear phones - and is for the living in memory of....
      Diane Germaine

    44. Cait Davis on

      I've been following this project for a little bit, saw the clip you had on youtube before. I think it's fascinating and right in line with a lot of the case studies out there, Oliver Sacks and Ramachandran are most immediately brought to mind. Always interested to hear more about the inter-workings of the brain. Happy to contribute and hope you find success.

    45. Missing avatar

      Suzan Windnagel on

      The concept works for those living at home too! Let's make this happen!

    46. Jaye Foo on

      Come on people, let's kickstart this!

    47. Marco Landi on

      Touching. Amazing.

    48. Brianna Socha on

      The video about Henry totally made me cry when I first saw it a few weeks ago. Beautiful! So glad to see there will be a documentary on this.

    49. Jaye Foo on

      Music can heal the World!