The Power of Two
(94 minutes) USA
Director: Marc Smolowitz
Producers: Marc Smolowitz, Andrew Byrnes
Inspired by their 2007 memoir, The Power of Two offers an intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, their battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis and miraculous survival through double lung transplants. Defying all odds, Ana and Isa have emerged as authors, athletes and global advocates for organ donation, and their connection to the CF and transplant communities provides rare insight into the struggles—and overlooked joys—of chronic illness. The twins’ receiving new lungs would have been unlikely in their mother’s native Japan, where organ donation rates are strikingly low. At the crux of a rising movement to change laws and stigmas, Ana and Isa embark on a tour of Japan to inspire change in the hearts and minds of a culture resistant to transplantation. Featuring archival footage and probing expert interviews, this poignant directorial debut of Academy Award-nominated producer Marc Smolowitz presents a multi-faceted portrayal of a society at a tipping point around this triumph of modern medicine. Back in the US, the twins rejoice in their ability to breathe with healthy lungs, sharing their story, mentoring others, and experiencing unexpected life milestones. Evocative without being sentimental, The Power of Two reveals the twins not as heroines but as authentic women who share our fears about mortality and inspire us to make a difference.
Marc Smolowitz is an Academy Award-nominated film, television and new media producer, director and executive producer with over twenty years of management level experience across all aspects of the entertainment business. He worked as a producer at TellyTopia, a Silicon Valley new media start-up specializing in IP-TV and VOD product functionality for cable companies. Currently, he is an executive producer and consultant to a diverse range of media and technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, adjunct faculty in the digital filmmaking and video production program at the Art Institute of California, and chair of the board of directors of SF Public Press, a nonprofit local news start up. In addition to The Power of Two, he recently completed Still Around, a feature-length short film compilation that marks the 30th anniversary of HIV/AIDS by bringing together leading Bay Area filmmakers to work in creative collaboration with people living with the disease.
Web site: www.thepoweroftwomovie.com