Unrest: 2017 Sundance Film Fest Docu

The 2017 Sundance Film Fest Special Jury Prize Award winning documentary, Unrest, was acquired by the PBS series Independent Lens.  

The series will premiere the film during their first quarter in 2018 on PBS following a national theatrical distribution.

“Since I first picked up my camera and began documenting the unseen world of homebound patients, it’s been my dream to share the story of my community with a public audience,” states director Jennifer Brea.

First time filmmaker Brea’s debut film is her own personal story.  She was a Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when she was struck down by a fever that left her bedridden. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, eventually losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors tell her it’s “all in her head,” she goes online and finds a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.
Unrest tells the story of Jennifer and her husband, Omar, newlyweds grappling with how to live in the face of a lifelong illness. In search of answers and initially bedbound, Jennifer sets off on a virtual voyage around the world, meeting four extraordinary ME patients in the US, UK, and Denmark. Their bedrooms connected by Skype and Facebook, these patients teach Jen how to make a life of meaning when everything changes.

UNREST is a first-person story of resilience in the face of loss, exploring how we treat people with illnesses we don’t yet understand–how confronting the fragility of life teaches us its value and, ultimately, how we all have the need to find community and connection.


UNREST is a Shella Films and Little by Little Films production in association with Impact Partners and Chicken & Egg Pictures.


Producers are Jennifer Brea, Lindsey Dryden, Patricia E. Gillespie, and Alysa Nahmian

Co-producer Anne Troldtoft Hjorth.

Executive Producers: Deborah Hoffmann, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Regina Scully, Ian Darling, Dan Cogan, Lisa Gunn, Lynda Weinman, and Donna Fairman Wilson.

Director: Jennifer Brea.

Writers: Jennifer Brea and Kim Roberts.

Camera (color, HD): Sam Heesen, Christian Laursen.

Editors: Kim Roberts, Emiliano Battista. Music: Bear McCreary.

Featuring subjects: Jennifer Brea, Omar Wasow, Jessica Taylor, Leeray Denton, Karina Hansen, Ron Davis, Nancy Klimas, Paul Cheney.