“In a film that so effortlessly celebrates the love and the power it manifests when we come together, it’s nearly impossible to not be affected.” -Dianna Perez, Brooklyn & Boyle
A Sacred Journey: The Transformative Power of Caring
There are four kinds of people in this world. Those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers." -Rosalynn Carter
In 2005, my brother Juan was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and given three years to live. Since then, I have been documenting Juan and his family so that his two children could have memories of their father preserved. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized the footage I had collected of Juan and my family is a story that should be shared. Thus inspired the creation of “A Sacred Journey.” Many have asked how I have been able to separate the technical from the creative. The truth is, this documentary has been one of the most challenging and yet rewarding projects of my life. It’s a deeply personal story that not only follows my brother and family’s path of healing, but pushed me to face my own life choices. Sometimes we don’t know how valuable we are to one another until something happens. As Juan's body continued to weaken, his spirit grew stronger. For every step he lost, he gained courage. For every moment I pointed the camera on him, I gained compassion. Juan’s diagnosis forced me to awaken to my drug addiction and ignited me on a path to healing. It has given me a greater appreciation and understanding of the true meaning of life, and the true meaning of being brothers and friends. The twelfth step of recovery is to be of service. And these past four years I've dedicated to directing and producing this film has strengthened my sobriety. Now fourteen years sober with a completed film, I realize the true power of how art and love heal. If, after you watch my film, you hug a loved one tighter, then I’ve done my job.
When one brother is diagnosed with a shattering illness, another brother is forced to face his demons as the family struggles to pick up the pieces and stay together in this powerful portrait of love and what it means to truly care for each other.
“Intense and Uplifting”
1. Continue raising ALS and DBA awareness through touring schools, conventions, conferences, medical institutions, and film festivals.
2. Strengthen the ALS and MS registry with the overall goal of helping those unaccounted for to get assistance.
3. Address a need for adequate nursing, with the intention of changing policy. There are presently no agencies that will fulfill the needs that Juan requires.
4. Celebrate the 66 million caregivers that exist in this country, and to provide tools and resources they can use to live healthier lives.
If you're interested in booking a screening please reach out. 323-286-2011
Ernesto hands Caregiver of the Year award to his parents.
"Sometimes love is the only answer." Ernesto Quintero