Synopsis of Woody's Order! the short doc
Synopsis Woody’s Order! is a one-woman show written and performed by actress Ann Talman. Family legend has it that Ann was “ordered” into this world in 1956 by Woody, her then eight-year-old brother with severe cerebral palsy. Ann’s raison d’être was to care for Woody if and when their parents could not. At the time, Woody was not expected to live past twelve.
The show Woody’s Order! details Ann’s struggles to understand her brother’s disorder, build a career, and even sustain her sanity while fulfilling her sacred obligations. It has played to overwhelming acclaim in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, the Talmans’ hometown.
Our short film captures the first time Ann performs Woody’s Order! for its muse, Woody. He is now 69 years old.
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, yet widely misunderstood. CP can be mild—weakness in one hand—to severe, in which people have little control over movement or speech. Even the most well-meaning passersby may stare curiously at someone with severe CP. Or, thinking it more polite, they may choose to avoid eye contact altogether.
People with CP experience desires and dreams, love and loss—the same as people without it.
Woody’s Order! takes us on a journey with a man who has CP, 1948 to present day. From a life tenderly and comprehensively documented in photographs and home movies, we cannot and really don’t want to turn away.
Our tour guide is his adoring sister. In a stirring, lyrical recitation, she describes experiencing life’s milestones as a sibling of someone with CP and inevitably, his caregiver.
The end result humanizes not only the severely disabled, but also the legions of unsung family members responsible for their care. Bonded by a strong, organized network, they share best practices and emotional support online and in meetings.
Their lifetimes of altruism often silence a deep, nagging concern: What’s left for me? Woody’s Order! both asks and answers the question, loud and clear.
Winner - 38th Annual Global Insights Jury's Choice Award 2019 from the Black Maria Film Festival
Winner - Award of Excellence - Best Shorts Competition
Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival - Best Documentary
Crested Butte Film Festival - Best Short Film Documentary
ReelAbilites Film Festival Pittsburgh — Voted Best Short Documentary
Assim Vivemos - Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival - Special Mention
One of 77 shorts to qualify for Oscar 2018!
Annie appears in podcast, "Look Who's Here," and this episode won the Western Pennsylvania Press Club Golden Quill Award!
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