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New Hampshire Screenings announced

Posted by mitokids on 6th October 2009

Mito-Kids: Documenting Life will have 2 screenings at the 2009 NH Film Festival Oct 15-18

Mito-Kids schedule at NHFF

Marc Dole and Hatchling also have 5 other films in the festival and will be sponsoring the Friday night party at the Gaslight.

Please join us in this special screening of our short film “Mito-Kids:Documenting Life”. We are continuing to raise awareness for the feature version of the film and your support is greatly appreciated.
Marc & Family

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MITO-KIDS: to premiere at the 25th annual Boston Film Festival

Posted by mitokids on 15th September 2009

Boston Film Festival 2009

Boston Film Festival 2009


MITO-KIDS: DOCUMENTING LIFE to premiere at the 25th annual Boston Film Festival

Boston, MA (Sept 15, 2009) The documentary film Mito-Kids will premiere on Sunday, September 20th at the 25th Annual Boston Film Festival. The film will play as part of a block of medical related documentaries covering Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease and stem cell research. The festival is open to the general public and festival organizers will be extending a special invitation to the Boston medical and medical research communities.

Mito-Kids is about the struggles, triumphs and everyday life of a family in which four teenage sisters have grown up with disabilities that stem from mitochondrial disease, a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to function properly. Marc Dole is the father of these four special young women and the film’s director. Marc’s children face challenges that include seizures, deafness, diabetes, immune disorders and severe learning and developmental disabilities. Yet despite these many challenges, Mito-Kids is an inspirational and relatable film about perseverance and family.

“I am very proud that our premiere will be in Boston because our family’s search for answers about mitochondria started at Childrens Hospital in Boston over 15 years ago.” said filmmaker and father Marc Dole.



As a father and a filmmaker, Marc has shot close to 100 hours of home video, beginning with the birth of his first daughter 19 years ago. The story starts before mitochondrial conditions were even a mention at medical conferences, let alone an area of genetic study. Mito-Kids follows the family through holidays and family vacations, seizures and hospital stays. Interviews with medical experts explain the role of mitochondria in producing cellular energy and reveal what happens to the human body when these cellular powerhouses fail. The incidence of mitochondrial disease is estimated at 1:3000-4000 individuals in the US and yet the disease is relatively unheard of in the public sector and poorly understood in the medical community. Mito-Kids aims to increase the understanding of mitochondrial disease and its connection to epilepsy, diabetes, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and many other neurological disorders.

The screening of the film will take place September 20th at 11am at the Kendall Square Cinema along with the medical documentaries Hope Deferred, The Sundowners, and A Vision of Wholeness.

About Filmmakers

Marc Dole, Producer/Director/Father of 4 daughters with mitochondrial disease. Marc is the owner and founder of the award winning Hatchling Studios, an alumni member of the New Hampshire Film Commission, Speaker, Panelist and Filmmaker. His films, including Tweet, The Toll, Endurance Challenge, and The Norman Rockwell Code, have screened at over 100 film festivals, with 14 “best of” awards.

Karlina Lyons, Producer. Karlina has more than 15 years of experience working in international and domestic media production, focusing on producing educational content for children and families. From 1998 until 2005 she worked in the International Production Division of Sesame Workshop. She is currently a consulting producer for the Cambodian Educational Media Initiative (CEMI), a partnership between WGBH and the global NGO World Education.

About Boston Film Festival

The 2009 Boston Film Festival celebrates a Landmark year with a distinct program of films on September 18-24 at the Kendall Square Cinema. A schedule of feature films, documentaries and shorts will be presented at the 25th festival. Filmmakers, actors and supporters have the opportunity to network at various events hosted by Boston’s signature restaurants throughout the week. A variety of awards are given annually. As the origin of many illustrious storytellers, the region provides an idyllic setting to experience a festival of motion pictures. The BFF is “quickly finding its place alongside the great film festivals of America.”  The BFF has premiered 25 years of remarkable films such as; American Beauty, North Country, The Piano, Reservoir Dogs, Jesus Camp, The Ground Truth, Flash of Genius, Grace is Gone, Trade and many others. Additionally, a vast list of directors and talent have participated at the festival including; Greg Kinnear, George Clooney, Dane Cook, Sam Mendes, Sir Ridley Scott, Jerry Weintraub, Alison Eastwood, Robin Tunney, and many more. The Boston Film Festival is dedicated to supporting evolving filmmakers by providing a forum to showcase their artistic vision.

Press contact:
Karlina Lyons

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Portsmouth Herald Article #2 Film documents local family's struggle with genetic disorder

Posted by mitokids on 22nd April 2009

from The Portsmouth Herald

Film documents local family’s struggle with genetic disorder

For information about the film and upcoming fund-raisers, visit or write to

By Jeanné McCartin
April 21, 2009 6:00 AM

Triage is not a word commonly used in most households. But it is at the Dole home.

“It’s medical and education triage, for whoever needs it the most that day,” says filmmaker Marc Dole, owner and founder of Hatchling Studios, a Portsmouth-based animation company.

Marc and Wanda Dole, who live in Nottingham, met in high school and had their first child while both were 19. Today they have four daughters, all with mitochondrial disease — a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when cell mitochondria fail to function properly.

Marc Dole is completing “Mito-Kids: Introduction,” a short documentary on his family’s life and daily challenges. “Mito-Kids” is no ordinary film for a number of reasons. For starters Dole hopes it will help “brand” the disease, like so many diseases that have “star power” behind them to get the message out.

It’s also a fund-raising tool for a full-length version, with the intent that both it and the short film will help educate the public and attract research funds.

But “Mito-Kids” is most unique for the clips taken from more than 100 hours of the Dole family’s home videos, shot over the past two decades. They start, like so many, capturing the joy of a first child’s birth, and later the three younger siblings. But it also chronicles the developing health issues caused by an illness, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.

The footage includes holidays and family vacations and seizures and hospital stays and will include interviews with medical experts and original animation.

The list of individual challenges differs with each Dole child. As a family they deal with seizures, deafness, diabetes, immune disorders and severe learning and developmental disabilities.

The two oldest Doles are “medically sensitive.” “It’s a word my wife uses,” he explains. “It just means at any given time, my older two girls Britney (19) and Nikiya (17) could have a seizure and their heart could stop. AND the heart could stop because of the medication we give for the seizure. It’s a crazy thing.”

Crazier was not knowing what afflicted their girls. They were still unaware at the time the twins were born, Ashley and Alyssa, now 15.

When the children were diagnosed in 1994, they were told there were only 290 families dealing with it in the United States. As for families with multiple mito-kids, with widely varying effects, “You couldn’t Google it in 1994,” says Dole. “So we didn’t know there were others out there until about a year ago when I started researching again.”

Still little is known of the disease, or why individuals are affected so differently. Dole said he looks at the differences in his daughters’ lives and wonders what tipped which scale. The two oldest lived their earlier years in a house with radon, discovered only they moved, and have different vaccination histories than the two youngest.

One twin is deaf, the other hard of hearing, both are diabetic and have other health issues. But neither have seizures and both are developmentally normal. Did the radon and vaccination differences alter the disease’s effect?

“This is what I’m trying to find out in the documentary. Does it matter? Was it chance?” he says. “I don’t want to be known as the leader of the disease but I want to get the story out there. …; And it can help (others affected) by letting them know they’re not the only ones dealing. For 10 years, we thought we were.”

These days the Dole family home videos are being edited and logged, while additional filming of experts is being done. The short will be finished in time for submission to the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner.

Dole has received an intent-to-broadcast letter from New Hampshire Public Television. The New Hampshire ABC affiliate, WMUR-TV 9 has aired the first of four planned behind-the-scenes news pieces about the project.

Last Sunday, Dole started to work the short film’s voiceovers. Shortly into it he choked up, he said. “I thought, ‘That’s right. This is me. …; I just talked about my daughters,” he says. “For us, a lot of this is just getting to the next point and getting through what you’re doing.”

Right now he’s ready to get this out there; he’s ready for some answers.

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PBS Letter of Intent to Broadcast

Posted by mitokids on 30th March 2009

Thanks to everyone at NH Public Television for signing a letter of intent to broadcast our documentary once it is completed. While not a guarantee, this letter shows the PBS station in New Hampshire has an interest in the subject matter and believes of our film will have the high standards they are looking for.
This letter will be shared with potential donors, and foundations where we apply for grants.

Thanks to everyone at NHPTV who reviewed our project including
Peter F, Dawn D, Hazel M, Stephanie C, Carla R, Mark D, Jonathan M, and many more

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