Film’s crowdfunding support open through July 7
By Deb Silverthorn
It’s not always possible and for many never easy to be there at the end of a loved one’s life. Dallas native Rebecca Glazer has written and is co-producing “A Life Well Lived,” a film short in format with an everlasting message.
“Nearly 500,000 people each year, in the United States, are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I’m so excited and incredibly proud to share this story, these characters and the message of the film,” said the first-time filmmaker. “We’ve got a powerhouse team including a diverse group of talented women. This is an important story and the hearts behind everyone on the production team are full.
“I’ve been in a lot of rooms at the end of life. In my 20s, I cared for many Alzheimer’s patients and it’s interesting who shows up for the person at the end,” said Rebecca, noting June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Her film is an opportunity to spread the word about and discuss Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“A Life Well Lived” follows Beverly, in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, and her ex-daughter-in-law Simone. The story is lightly based on a true-life relationship Rebecca witnessed between her mother, Judy Glazer, and Rebecca’s father Morey’s first wife, Marilyn.
Judy is proud of what her daughter saw in the relationship that meant so much to her.
“It’s not often two women, each having been married to the same man, share the closeness Marilyn and I did — really we were family and best friends. For the last five years of her life, we were together a lot; I’d go many times each week, and even when it was difficult it was important,” said Judy. “Even when Marilyn didn’t know I was there, or remember something, I did and I had to wake up each morning and live with myself. She may not have realized it was me, ‘Judy,’ but she knew someone who cared was there. Each experience I’ve lived has made me who I am and every moment in life propels you forward.
“I’m glad my children saw through the difficulty of the time to the depth, and absolute importance, of our relationship,” said the kvelling mother. “Rebecca has taken the story and has truly written a tribute through her heart.”
Having spent much time with those close to her in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, it’s always been important to Rebecca to show nurses, CNAs, hospice caretakers and other hands-on caretakers that their presence was appreciated. In her film, that message is made clear.
“This film is subtle and nuanced,” said Rebecca. “It was important to me to pay homage to what I’ve experienced. It’s the moments ‘we’ spend with a patient we care about brushing their hair, maybe putting makeup on them. The sights, smells and aura of those times are triggering.”
Until July 7, “A Life Well Lived” can be supported through the SeedandSpark.com crowdfunding campaign to support the crew as well as COVID-19 compliance and post-production costs. At press time, more than 50% of the almost $17,000 goal has been met. Filming is set for July 30 and 31 in Southern California. In early June, Rebecca and her team were in Los Angeles scouting locations and finalizing casting roles.
“I’m so proud of all my kids who are living wonderful lives making a difference,” said Rebecca’s father, Morey. “Rebecca followed in her mother’s footsteps as an outgoing, bright, really good person and friend. She knows people and she’s going after the dream to tell important stories.”
The mother of Colette and Story, and sister of David Glazer, Marcey Peckes and Eddie Weiss, Rebecca was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Dallas when she was 4. She was raised at Tiferet Israel and was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel’s Young Judaea chapter. A graduate of J.J. Pearce High School, Rebecca was a dedicated member of its Mustang marching band. She brought her love of music into the film, appropriately, as, for so many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, music is often a connector.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin and Bank Street College of Education, where she earned an M.Ed., Rebecca spent years working as a teacher, literary coach, retail buyer and paralegal. She lived in the Bay Area in California, then New York for 15 years before moving to Portland, Oregon, in 2019, there deciding to put her pen to paper and then onto computer.
Melding her experiences, personal and professional, she is now living her best life as her writing takes center stage. In addition to “A Life Well Lived,” Rebecca is pursuing television pilots, series bibles, pitch decks and feature-length screenplays, hoping to be filming a second project in September. With her film’s director, Louisa Kendrick Burton, she founded and co-hosts @Emerging_Creatives for creative professionals and dreamers to network and to support each other.
“It’s all a hustle and I have a number of irons in the fire that are coming together,” said Rebecca. “I like meeting people, connecting and telling stories on a human level and it’s an honor to be able to bring them to light and to raise one another.”
“Rebecca is a phenomenal person and she has been all of her life. I’ve known her forever, and being one to think about others and care about the circumstances people are in is not something new to her,” said Congregation Nishmat Am’s Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen, who officiated at Rebecca’s bat mitzvah and the naming of her daughter Story.
“Gemilut chasadim — benevolence, selflessness and loving-kindness — from someone truly unexpected as someone’s ‘person’ is of the highest mitzvot,” said Rabbi Cohen. “That Rebecca is bringing us this story of a friendship one might never expect is not surprising, but a gift that gives us a tremendous amount of nachas.”
To donate to “A Life Well Lived,” visit tinyurl.com/Support-A-Life-Well-Lived.