A new feature documentary about the search for a cure for diabetes, The Human Trial, has been acquired by New York-based indie distributor Abramorama for North American theatrical release, while Espresso Media International has picked up the worldwide rights to the film.
The film comes from co-directors Guy Mossman and Lisa Hepner, and is executive produced by Beyond Type 1 (BT1) along with Amy Rapp (The Woman Who Wasn’t There, After the Murder of Albert Lima), Marla Oringer, Greer Wylder and Thom Scher, and produced by Hepner, Jonathan Formica (Lost & Found) and Kristin Lesko (O.J.: Made in America).
In 2011, Lisa Hepner and her husband Guy Mossman heard about a radical stem cell treatment for diabetes, a disease that kills more than five million people annually. Driven by a desire to cure Lisa of her own type 1 diabetes, the filmmakers were given unprecedented access to a clinical trial, just the sixth-ever stem-cell trial in the world.
For seven years, Hepner and Mossman embedded themselves with a San Diego biotech company, filming the researchers’ triumphs and failures and following them from Tokyo to Riyadh as they raised money to keep the trial going. Simultaneously, the husband-and-wife filmmaking team followed a pair of patients, the self-described “guinea pigs,” at the University of Minnesota. The film interweaves the stories of the patients who have shouldered the physical and financial burdens of type 1 diabetes with the researchers fighting to find a cure.
Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz said in a news release: “Abramorama is proud to be involved with this film, an epic story that at its core is about the patients who dive off the deep end for the rest of us. The film will be available day-and-date in theaters, on our Watch Now @ Home virtual cinema platform and, through our partners at Ro*Co, in community screenings across the country.”
“We are honored to be representing such an important, history-making film in the international marketplace. This is not just a medical documentary, but a raw and intimate exploration of the lives of those affected by type 1 diabetes,” added Jessica Reilly, head of sales and acquisitions for Espresso Media International.
“The Human Trial is groundbreaking in its unprecedented access to a clinical trial over the course of a decade. It could not be timelier, too. With the COVID-19 vaccination rollouts proving the importance of clinical trials and how much we can achieve when we can pool resources, this documentary offers a powerful story of hope and possibility for eradicating another deadly disease.”