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Utah Film Center Announces 2013 Winner of Peek Award for Disability in Film

November 6, 2013


-- Award Winners Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine Acknowledged for Documentary That Raises Disability Awareness -- Peek Award Event Focuses on Progeria Syndrome and Family Featured in Film -- Event Includes Presentation by Barry Morrow, Screening of Documentary

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Utah Film Center today announced the winner of its annual Peek Award for Disability in Film, recognizing filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine for their documentary Life According to Sam. This year's Peek Award event will focus on the family featured in the documentary--Drs. Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon, and their son Sam--as well as their work in discovering the progeria gene, the cause of a rare genetic disorder from which their son suffers.

The Peek Award annually honors an actor, filmmaker, or subject of a film who is positively impacting societal perceptions of individuals with disabilities. The Fines are Academy Award nominees and three-time Emmy Award winners, whose documentary was featured during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Following a screening of the film, the award will be presented by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Barry Morrow on November 6 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.

"The Utah Film Center is committed to generating awareness of artists and media makers who positively impact society's perception of persons with disabilities," said Holly Yocom, executive director of the Utah Film Center. "This documentary is an excellent representation of what the Peek Award stands for, and it is an inspiring film about the power of family and how we make the most of our lives in the time we are given."

Dr. Berns and his wife, Dr. Gordon, are the founders of the Progeria Research Foundation. Dr. Berns is currently Chairman of its Board of Directors, and is also Senior Vice President of Chapter Programs for the March of Dimes. He provides direction in education and community services to all March of Dimes state-based chapters, including DC and Puerto Rico. Additionally, he serves on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics.

"In less than a decade, the extraordinary advances of Dr. Berns and Dr. Gordon have led to identifying the gene at fault, creating the first drug trials in hopes of treatment, and revealing the amazing discovery that progeria is linked to the entire human aging process," Yocom added.

The annual Peek Award for Disability in Film grew out of the generosity of Barry Morrow, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter who permanently loaned his Oscar statuette to Salt Lake City in the memory of Kim Peek, the savant about whom Rain Man is based. Kim Peek lived in Salt Lake City and passed away in December 2009. Previous award recipients include Dr. Temple Grandin and Carrie Fisher.

The Peek event is free and open to the public.

About The Utah Film Center

The Utah Film Center brings the world of film to local audiences through free community screenings and discussions, outreach programs and visiting artists and industry professionals. Emphasizing social content and artistic excellence, we present the best documentary, independent and dramatic cinema year-round. We collaborate with various organizations to promote a diversity of ideas to provide forums for underrepresented groups and to develop new audiences for film. For more information, visit

The Utah Film Center programs are generously supported by the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Rio Tinto, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Zions Bank, and Zoo, Arts & Parks.

Utah Film Center Holly M. Yocom, 801-231-0611

Source: Utah Film Center

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