Screened as part of NZIFF 2014

Alive Inside 2014

Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett Framing Reality

As dementia continues to affect millions worldwide, this rousing and emotional documentary reveals a remarkably simple, music-based breakthrough and shows how it has already transformed lives.

USA In English
74 minutes B&W / DCP

Director, Screenplay


Michael Rossato-Bennett
Alexandra McDougald


Shachar Langlev


Mark Demolar
Manuel Tsingaris
Michael Rossato-Bennett


Itaal Shur


Dan Cohen
Oliver Sacks
Samite Mulondo
Bobby McFerrin
Yvonne Russell
Louise Dueno
Cheryl Velez
Connie Tomaino
Bill Thomas
Michelle Van Nostrand


Sundance 2014


Audience Award (Documentary)
Sundance Film Festival 2014

This year’s Sundance Audience Award winner explores the power of music to reconnect Alzheimers’ patients with their forgotten selves. Oliver Sacks and other neurology experts contribute their expertise, but it’s the case studies that carry the message home. Social worker Dan Cohen’s campaign to furnish dementia patients worldwide with custom-loaded iPods seems certain to gain traction wherever this film is shown.

“A packed audience at Sundance was invigorated by witnessing this magical, non-medical story of healing. Alive Inside was brought to full dimension by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett’s vigorous filmic hand, blending a bedside manner with a rousing aesthetic. In this stirring documentary, Rossato-Bennett unveils the healing power of music to reinvigorate memory in nursing-home patients suffering from dementia. Rossato-Bennett follows social worker Dan Cohen, who discovered that a patient’s favorite songs are intact in a part of the brain that is still alive when all other communication and awareness seem irretrievably lost.” — Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

Screening With This Feature

Home 2013


15 minutes

An old woman (Kate Harcourt) strays from the safety of her rest home in order to return a beloved possession to her daughter, but her biggest obstacle may be her own mind. Screening with Alive Inside