Cancer, Cinema, Crowdfunding and Twitter

I realize that cancer, cinema, crowdfunding and Twitter don't usually go together. Especially, cancer and a film called Funeral Day. However, about a month ago I followed a tweet and several clicks later found myself on the crowdfunding page for Funeral Day on Seed&Spark.

Funeral Day is a comedy about a young man who believes he has found a lump on his testicle and thinks he might be dying, so he skips his friend's funeral (who actually did die of cancer) in an attempt to start living his own life to the fullest.

The storyline struck a cord with me and I immediately reached out to Jon Weinberg, the director/co-producer of Funeral Day, to see how the Testicular Cancer Society could get involved in helping bringing the film to life.

After feeling a lump, the main character in Funeral Day refuses to go to the doctor. This reluctance to see a doctor is not uncommon in men. Before being diagnosed with testicular cancer, I was a clinical pharmacist yet I still waited seven months after first feeling a lump before I went to the doctor.

For those seven months I ended up living like I was dying. I even threw my own "going away" party because I was so convinced I was going to die from the disease because of my delay in seeking care. At the time, I never told anyone what I was going through or why I was throwing the party. I figured a few months later people would hear of my diagnosis and realize I had thrown the party as my last chance to see all of my friends.

Since I shared a similar experience as the main character, not wanting to go to the doctor and trying to fix my own life, I thought incorporating the film into the Testicular Cancer Society's awareness and educational programs might be a perfect fit. Let's face it, not many people want to come listen to information about testicular cancer so the idea of incorporating the film will provide us with a hook and a way to bring some guaranteed laughs along the way.

Luckily, Jon agreed to the idea, although he admits, "Since Funeral Day is a narrative film, partnering with an outside organization wasn't the first thing on my mind. It's something I associate more with documentaries but after talking to Mike, the ability to make a difference by working together seemed like an exciting opportunity."

As part of the unique partnership, the Testicular Cancer Society will help bring the film to fruition. In return, the society will be able to incorporate the film into their testicular cancer education and awareness programs. The producers of the film and I hope that by engaging in co-promotion, more men (and the woman in their lives) will become aware of testicular cancer and reduce delays they have in seeking care.

It is interesting that Seed&Spark was created to provide a healthier environment for making films. By being the meeting place for this new partnership they have now actually helped make men's live healthier too.

To learn more about Funeral Day's Seed&Spark campaign visit:

Funeral Day is the debut feature film of co-directors Jon Weinberg and Ronnie Butler. It stars Tyler Labine (Deadbeat, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil), Tygh Runyan (Stargate Universe, the upcoming Versailles), Suzy Nakamura (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Horrible Bosses 2), Dominic Rains (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Flashforward) and many others. It was written by Kris Elgstrand, an award winning screenwriter whose most recent film, Songs She Wrote About People She Knows, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Testicular Cancer Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity to reduce the burden of testicular cancer by increasing education and awareness and providing support services to fighters, survivors and caregivers.