Dialog Box

Community | Disability | Education | Health & Wellbeing
I Forget - Diann's story & younger onset dementia
I Forget - Diann's story and younger onset Dementia.

(Trailer link on cover image)

I Forget is a rare and lucid glimpse into losing your mind to younger onset Dementia, as seen through the eyes of fifty year old Diann, mother of two adult children. Diann manages to see the lighter side of facing modern life’s daily challenges with a failing memory. Diann has been diagnosed with ‘younger onset dementia’ after a series of brain scans. A form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65 affecting around 26,000 Australians and has been known to strike people as young as 30. 

 Diann's condition is terminal, a degenerative disease that leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. In layman’s terms, Diann’s brain is shrinking dramatically, and its an unstoppable process (currently at least) that will eventually affect nearly all of her brain’s normal functions. This rapid and inevitable mental decline is an incredibly scary prospect that would daunt even the bravest of us, but like everything Diann did in her former life as the MD of a busy graphic design firm eight years ago, living with Dementia is something she now tackles with both gusto and creativity. 

Many of us try to look on the bright side, but Diann does it every day under the most challenging of circumstances.Yet the effects of her Dementia can’t be ignored. A simple task for others can be like climbing a mountain for Diann. Navigating underground carparks, not overfeeding the dog, finding personal belongings, remembering why she is standing in a room or what she is meant to be doing, these are all daily occurrences that require her to plan, to invent, to strategise and to execute, if she is to climb and conquer her daily mountains. 

This intimate documentary tracks over a period of weeks Diann’s life through an observational style filming. We see a family coping with, but not unaffected by, a very forgetful mum. 

Now medical science had developed a simple blood test that can determine who in Diann’s family maybe affected in twenty years with Dementia . Does she want her children to take this test? 

I forget is a rare, funny and poignant window into what daily life is like while losing one’s mental abilities to dementia. Close to 50 million people and their families are currently experiencing globally. I forget will screen on the ABC for Dementia week this September if the budget can be raised in full.


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Documentary storytelling has the power to raise awareness, create empathy and inspire action on important social issues that affect us all. I Forget about "younger on-set dementia" will create empathy for dementia sufferers and inform the community about this condition and how it can be managed.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

Producing a film about the little known disease "younger-onset dementia" that affects over 26,000 Australian will create social awareness by changing minds and attitudes about this condition...all is not lost. Seeing Diann determined to maintain some level of empowerment can give some suffers and their families in the early stages of this illness hope not give up on living a full life. Through Diann's strength and good humour she can change behaviours and attitudes about this condition. This social impact is important because it can unlock philanthropic support for organisations that support and care for suffers of younger onset dementia across Australia. In the first instance we can measure this impact of this documentary by the number of viewers who watch the programme on the ABC during Dementia week this coming September.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Recently, Alzheimer’s WA assisted with the filming of the trailer "I Forget." The association provided access to an outing with dementia sufferers for our trailer; https://vimeo.com/242688860
Alzheimer’s WA is very pleased that this film is focusing on younger on set dementia. Alzheimer's WA similar national bodies will be provided free access to this documentary for educational purposes. Diann Bates is often asked to give talks at facilities that provide care for dementia patients, the carers and she is often interviewed on radio about her condition. Currently Diann can articulate her condition but one day she may required a video presentation to show others her coping mechanisms and this important community service documentary will be an excellent educational tool.
Sam Fields
Marian Bartsch & Paloma Bartsch
Total budget
30 Minutes