Directed by Julie Cohen
Army Sergeant Nick Mendes was paralyzed while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. Presented in an unflinching, close-up style, the film brings us into Nick’s world as he studies for a real estate license, falls in love, and learns to do everything from posting on Facebook and playing video games to casting a fishing reel with his mouth. The film weaves together Nick’s past and present to show a nuanced portrait of a quadriplegic soldier’s sometimes harrowing, sometimes romantic and often surprisingly funny life.
Julie Cohen is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of BetterThanFiction Productions, Inc. She has directed, produced, and written ten documentaries for WNET in New York and other PBS stations around the country; more than 20 hour-long and two-hour programs for Dateline NBC; and web content for a wide variety of corporate and non-profit clients. Her films have screened at more than 80 festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival. Julie has won three New York Emmy Awards since 2012 and the Individual Achievement Award for Best News Producer from American Women in Radio and Television. A former longtime NBC News staff producer, Julie still does consulting projects for NBC. She graduated from Colgate and holds masters degrees from Yale Law School and the Columbia Journalism School, where she is now an adjunct professor.