Short film on dementia, nursing homes shot in Carmel
By Mark Ambrogi
“Sarge” is a film near to Benjamin Dewhurst’s heart.
Dewhurst said the short film, produced by Carmel-based DWA Healthcare Communications Group, is not a true story but based on the experiences he had growing up with his grandfather in his nursing home. Dewhurst is the writer/director the film, which was shot in CrownPointe of Carmel, an assisted living facility, earlier this month.
Dewhurst said he’s been writing the screenplay for the past four or five years. It is based on short story “Lollygagger” by Brian Lauziere, Dewhurst’s friend.
“Sarge” is about an elderly World War II Amy veteran living with dementia.
“I’ve taken the screenplay in a different direction based on my own beliefs,” Dewhurst said. “I grew up in a household that was very respectful to the nation’s veterans. So there is a portion of the story that has its heart in that. There is a portion for those who suffer with dementia and those that suffer from PTSD. Finally, it’s for anyone who has family who ever been in a nursing home or assisted living facility. It’s very difficult to have family members there, and I know that first hand.”
Dewhurst, a former Carmel resident now based in St. Louis, is a senior producer with Avant Healthcare, a DWA HCG company.
DWA HCG provided initial seed funding of $25,000 for the film and helped raise additional support from a crowd-funding effort on indiegogo.com launched on Veterans Day 2015. Some Indianapolis businesses, including Scofield Editorial, Talent Fusion and Renegade Stories, provided support.
“This is the biggest narrative film we’ve ever made,” Dewhurst said.
The film is in post-production through April, said Jeff Sears, one of the film’s producers. Sears hopes the film will be competitive later in the 2016 and 2017 film festival circuit.
“If you win at one of those festivals, you are able to get more exposure and visibility,” said Sears, an executive director for Avant Healthcare. “One of Ben’s personal goals is to get it as an Academy Award-winning short. The purpose is to make a medically relevant, historically accurate short film that tells a touching story of a person living with dementia.”
Several of cast and crew members were from Hamilton County and the Indianapolis area.
For more, visit SargeTheMovie.com.