Dan Habib’s Mr. Connolly Has ALS is Nominated For IDA Award

November 20, 2017

Mr Connolly Has ALS movie poster

Filmmaker Dan Habib’s new project, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, has been nominated for the International Documentary Association’s 2017 IDA Award for Best Documentary Short. The film documents a high school principal in Concord, NH who is embraced by his community as he continues to lead the school, despite rapidly losing his abilities due to the debilitating effects of ALS. The film also recently won Best Short Documentary and Best of Fest at the SNOB Film Festival.

“I am so pleased that our film is making an impact among those who need this content most,” said filmmaker Dan Habib. “The ability to bring such an intimate portrayal of someone like Gene Connolly to a wider audience is the only way we can really help people to understand the effects of an incurable disease like ALS – while also sharing Gene’s passion for creating a truly inclusive school community.”

The IDA Awards’ 33rd Annual Ceremony will announce the winners at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles on December 9, 2017. Currently, Mr. Connolly Has ALS is screening exclusively at festivals, as well as online through a series of community preview screenings on the public media platform OVEE®, in partnership with the ALS Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Mr. Connolly Has ALS has been screening at film festivals this fall including the NH Film Festival in Portsmouth, the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA, the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, IN, and overseas in Seoul, South Korea and Barcelona, Spain.

About the Film

Mr. Connolly Has ALS documents a high school principal who is embraced by his community as he continues to lead the school, despite rapidly losing his abilities due to the debilitating effects of ALS.

During his 14-year tenure at Concord High School, Principal Gene Connolly was known for his non-stop energy, his love of rock & roll, and the personal connections he made with many of the school’s 1,600 students. However, in 2014, Connolly was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Mr. Connolly Has ALS chronicles Connolly’s final year as principal of the school, when his physical abilities are significantly limited.  The outpouring of love and support from the students, evident as they engage with him in the film, is both remarkable and inspiring.

Mr. Connolly Has ALS runs 32 minutes is and currently negotiating television and online distribution. Announcements about upcoming screenings will be made on Facebook.

Watch the trailer.

Read about the award announcement in IndieWire.