Unrest is a documentary film about ME/CFS that premiered in January 2017 at the Sundance Film Festival. Jennifer Brea, a patient, directed filming from her sickbed using video conferencing tools.. The film was primarily funded through a Kickstarter campaign which raised $212,962.
The film's previous working title was 'Canary in a Coal Mine'.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also known as Oscars announced on 7 December 2017 that Unrest was shortlisted as one of 15 films from the original 170 films nominated and advanced for voting for the 90th academy awards .
Awards and fellowships
- 2013 Paley Center DocPitch
- 2014 Sundance DFP Grant
- 2014 Chicken & Egg Grant
- 2014 Harnisch Foundation Grant
- 2015 Sundance DFP Fellowship
- 2015 Good Pitch New York
- 2015 IFP Spotlight on Documentaries
- 2016 Fledgling Fund Audience Engagement Fellowship
- 2016 IFP Documentary Lab
- 2016 Tribeca Film Institute Network Market
- 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest MeetMarket and Alternate Realities
- 2016 Firelight Media Lab
- 2016 Sundance Edit & Story Lab
- 2017 Sundance Film Festival US Documentary Competition
- Jennifer Brea (Director/Producer, screenwriter)
- Deborah Hoffmann (Executive Producer & Creative Advisor)
- Lindsey Dryden (Producer)
- Patricia Gillespie (Producer)
- Alysa Nahmias (Co-Producer)
- Kim Roberts (Editor and screenwriter)
- Emiliano Battista (Editor)
- Sam Heesen, Christian Laursen (Director of photography)
- Bear McCreary (Composer)
A list of all those involved in the film has been published.
List of media articles
- 2013, ABC News 'Canary In a Coal Mine' Examines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- 3 Jan 2014 Al Jazeera America Chronic fatigue syndrome activists launch 'uprising' from their beds
- 25 Aug 2014, ProHealth Interview: Jennifer Brea Talks About Obstacles, Adjustments, and Inspiration
- 2017, 'New Zealand International Film Festival Unrest 2017 '
- 2017, Tribeca Film Festival Virtual Arcade 'Unrest'
- 2017, The Loft Unrest
- 27 Jan 2017 Indie Wire ‘Unrest’ Review: A Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, With Powerful Results — Sundance 2017
- 1 Feb 2017, Women and Hollywood' Jennifer Brea’s Sundance Winner “Unrest” Acquired by PBS '
- 15 Feb 2017, Huffington Post Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Diagnostic Tests, Treatment And Prevention Urgently Needed
- 16 Mar 2017, Austin 360 'SXSW Film: “Unrest” examines pain-riddled life with chronic fatigue'
- 17 Mar 2017, Information, Denmark 'Optagelser at ef liv med kronisk traethedssyndrom'
- 17 Mar 2017, Politiken, Denmark 'Ny film om kronisk trætte: Deres celler er syge – læger og venner siger, de bare skal tage sig sammen'
- 27 Apr 2017, The Star Unrest documents a little understood disease: Hot Docs
- 14 Aug 2017 From the Heart Productions Unrest: The Hero’s Journey of Jennifer Brea
- 5 Sep 2017, SBS, Australia, Unrest' explores the hidden world Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- 14 Sep 2017 Refinery 29 'What It's Really Like To Live With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- 20 Sep 2017, Chicago Now Hit with sudden disability, Jen Brea created “Unrest,” won at Sundance and is changing the world.
- 20 Sep 2017, 'The Mighty Jennifer Brea Directs and Films 'Unrest,' a Documentary About Her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome '
- 21 Sep 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Documenting a disease from the inside
- 22 Sep 2017 WYNC Documentary of the Week: 'Battling a Mysterious Illness' podcast
- 23 Sep 2017, Film Music Magazine September Soundtrack Picks
- 23 Sep 2017 the FRAME Unrest' filmmaker was determined to document her pain' podcast
- 25 Sep 2017 New York Post When your in constant pain and nobody believes you
- 27 Sep 2017 KCRW podcast Unrest offers a personal experience of chronic pain
- 28 Sep 2017, SF Gate ‘Unrest’ an unflinching look at chronic fatigue syndrome by a sufferer
- 28 Sep 2017, PBS Travis Smiley Interview with Director Jennifer Brea and Professor Omar Wasow
- 28 Sep 2017, Today with Megan Kelly 'Filmmaker opens up about illness that doctors told her was ‘all in her head’'
- 29 Sep 2017, Deadline ‘Unrest’ Doc About Chronic Fatigue Making Sure Homebound Audience Has Virtual Access
- 29 Sep 2017, Los Angeles Times' Director Jennifer Brea exposes the personal pain of an immune disorder in the documentary 'Unrest
- 1 Oct 2017, Chicago Tribune 'Unrest' puts spotlight on disease that affects millions, including Riverside girl, 12
- 4 Oct 2017, Cosmopolitan Millions of Women Suffer From a Disease That Virtually Sucks the Life Out of Them — But Doctors Still Don’t Take It Seriously
- 4 Oct 2017, British Medical Association Unrest tells the stories of those living with ME; it raises important issues for the medical community
- 6 Oct 2017 Science Friday podcast 'Once Dismissed And Hidden, Chronic Fatigue Patients Speak Up'
- 16 Oct 2017 The Upcoming Unrest
- 18 Oct 2017 The Times 'Our lives were frozen by chronic fatigue syndrome' (also features the NICE guidelines)
- 18 Oct 2017 ITV Lunchtime News Short clip on ITV Facebook Short clip on ITV Twitter Full Interview on YouTube (available to watch online)
- 18 Oct 2017 Cosmopolitan UK 'What it’s like to live with an incurable illness no-one believes is real'
- 19 Oct 2017 Channel 5, UK, News (available to watch online)
- 19 Oct 2017 BBC World Service, Click 'Tech helps film-maker with ME direct from bed'
- 20 Oct 2017 Spectator 'Film reviews: Unrest'
- 21 Oct 2017, BBC Radio Bristol l Unrest Interview
- 23 Oct 2017, BBC World News BBC World News Interview (available to watch online)
- 23 Oct 2017, Daily Express 'THIS mysterious condition affects millions more than MS - but you probably don't know it'
- 23 Oct 2017 Salon '“Maybe this is all in your head”: When doctors don’t believe women'
- 23 Oct 2017, The Pool A new film shows the heartbreaking reality of living with chronic fatigue syndrome
- 24 Oct 2017, The Telegraph 'Could this documentary change the way we perceive chronic fatigue syndrome?' (also features the NICE guidelines)
- 25 Oct 2017, BBC World Service Radio, Outlook
- 28 Oct 2017, BBC Breakfast News interview (available to watch online)
- 29 Oct 2017, Paradigm Change Jen Brea’s Award-Winning ME/CFS Film “Unrest” Discusses Mold Avoidance Issues
- 6 Nov 2017 The Mighty What Happened When I Attended A Screening Of ‘Unrest’
- 8 Nov 2017, BBC Ouch Disability ME - The movie and Transcript
- 17 Nov 2017 White House Chronicle by Llewellyn King, A Movie David Goes Against a Goliath of a Disease
- 18 Dec 2017 Dr Oz, One Woman’s Unshakeable Exhaustion - Caught on Tape
- 20 Dec 2017, Cosmpolitan Stories Cosmopolitan Readers Were Obsessed With in 2017 No. 8
- 21 Dec 2017, Orlando Sentinel' PBS to air Winter Park filmmaker's 'Unrest' '
- 21 Dec 2017, The Hippocratic Post Unrest – a new film about ME
- 12 Jan 2018, Wall Street Journal 'A Filmmaker’s Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- 2016-2017, ME York Community Unrest List of Articles
Unrest also led to groundbreaking and unprecedented positive media articles for ME sufferers in the United Kingdom which documented the history, politics and denial of the biomedical evidence for psychosomatic theories and the involvement of insurance companies and psychiatrists in the disease of ME. This information was available on the internet but had not been published in the mainstream media as this had previously been impossible due to the power and influence of the biopsychosocial psychiatrists and Science Media Centre. On 2 November 2017 the Huffington Post UK reported 'Will The UK Establishment Finally Stop Denying The Reality Of ME?' which in a first examined the injustice faced by ME sufferers due to the British psychiatrists and the largest research trial, the PACE trial. On 7 January 2018 The Independent published 'Time for Unrest: Why patients with ME are demanding justice' which also investigated in-depth the history of the injustice faced by ME sufferers and the involvement of certain psychiatrists and insurance industry and Dr David Tuller's expose of the PACE trial which was also commented on by the film's director .
- 2017, 'LAEMMLE "This is jaw-dropping stuff, made more profoundly disturbing by the fact that so little is known about the disease." ~Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com
- 26 Jan 2017, The Salt Lake Tribune Sundance review: 'Unrest'
- 23 Jan 2017, No Film School Jennifer Brea Filmed Her Sundance Premiere Without Leaving Bed — And it Saved Her Life
- 23 Jan 2017, Hollywood Reporter' 'Unrest': Film Review | Sundance 2017'
- 23 Jan 2017, Bleedingcool Sundance 2017: ‘Unrest’ Is An Emotional Look At Human Strength
- 23 Jan 2017, ’ Variety' Sundance Film Review: ‘Unrest'
- 27 Jan 2017, Indiewire ‘Unrest’ Review: A Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, With Powerful Results — Sundance 2017
- 21 Sep 2017, NY Times Review: ‘Unrest’, a Personal Account of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- 19 Oct 2017 The Guardian 'Unrest review – powerful documentary about chronic fatigue syndrome'
- 21 Oct 2017, BBC 5 Live Mark Kermode Review
- 22 Oct 2017, The Observer Unrest review – bracingly inventive and moving
- 14 Nov 3017, Junkee ' It’s Well Past Time For ‘Unrest’, A Game-Changing New Doco About ME/CFS'
Unrest has screened in cinemas and film festivals around the world. Unrest has also had special screenings in the UK Houses of Parliament in London where it was shown in the State Rooms by the Speaker of the House of Commons in October 2017 attended by numerous Members of Parliaments. A special screening of the film will also be shown in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to be attended by MSP's on 30 January 2018. The film will also be shown in the Canadian Parliament on 6 February 2018 in Ottawa 
- Canary in a Coal Mine Team
- Illuminating an illness without end: Fellows Friday with Jennifer Brea
- Canary in a Coal Mine Kickstarter
- Competitions and next films announced for 2017 festival
- 2017 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners
- Unrest - PBS.org Independent Lens
- PBS Buys Sundance Medical Mystery Documentary ‘Unrest’ - Indie Wire By: Graham Winfrey
- Unrest Team