Coming Soon to
Coming Soon to
Based on David Downs’ highly successful column and book, A Mild Touch of the Cancer exalts his humorous approach to cancer and the CAR T-cell therapy that saved his life.
It all began with a small column published on Stuff, where author, comedian and businessman David Downs documented his experience with “A Mild Touch of the Cancer”. NZ director Annie Goldson (Brother Number One NZIFF 2011, Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web NZIFF 2017) brings his story to the big screen.
Tackling boredom, fear and hospital food – par for the course for a cancer patient – David, in 60 columns published over 14 months, received overwhelming praise for his honesty and humour in chronicling his experience with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That same transparency shines on camera, as David and his family share videos, Snapchats, candid interviews and a behind-thescenes look into the months that changed his life.
Terminally ill, David makes it to Boston with the help of family and friends, where he enters a clinical trial in cancer immunotherapy called CAR T-cell therapy. For those left with few options, CAR T is the last lifesaver thrown, and for David, the treatment is a resounding success. On his return to Aotearoa, he discovers that the Malaghan Institute in Wellington has started their own CAR T trials, and so begins David’s next great adventure: helping other New Zealanders negotiate their own cancer journeys. Along for the ride, Goldson’s documentary follows patients in real time as they undertake CAR T, including Kirsty Horgan, a single parent, and Mile Nafatali, just 22 years old, none knowing what their outcome will be.
A story of generosity, family connections and courage, A Mild Touch of Cancer explores the science and history of immunotherapy, providing an exciting glimpse into what may very well be the cure for cancer. — Rachael Rands