Award-Winning Film is an Unfiltered Look into the Lives of Parents Caring for Children with Profound Disabilities  

NASHVILLE, TN — One in five children in Tennessee have a special healthcare need, chronic illness, or disability. For many parents caring for children and adults with profound disabilities, the stress and demands of daily life take a heavy toll on their wellbeing. 

The award-winning documentary film, Unseen: How We’re Failing Parent Caregivers and Why it Matters, created by Nashville filmmakers Tom and Amanda Dyer, provides a glimpse into the world of parent caregivers and the challenges they face. The Tennessee premiere of Unseen, followed by an audience Q&A with the filmmakers, is on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at Brentwood Baptist Church.

In Unseen, parent caregivers are unflinchingly honest about their experience and the barriers they encounter navigating resources such as public programs and education systems. With limited accommodations and uncertainty about the future, they often face isolation and adverse health and financial outcomes. 

“Parent caregivers are truly an unseen population,” says Amanda Dyer, co-director and producer. “We created the film to provide a platform for caregivers to share their stories and start conversations about what changes are needed at the individual, organizational and policy level to enable real, positive impacts for families.”

The film features the story of Jess and Ryan Ronne who have a blended family of eight, including Lucas, who has profound disabilities and requires total care. Their situation gets more complex as Lucas grows and their support options dwindle. Video diaries from diverse caregivers illuminate common challenges, while interviews with mental health and policy experts provide a broader view on the societal impacts.

“The Unseen film fills a gap in the documentary landscape. We have seen dramatic growth in severe disability among children, and we are decades behind in catching up with the overwhelming challenges facing families,” says Jill Escher, president, National Council on Severe Autism. “For those who do not bear these responsibilities, the film offers a rare peek inside the daily struggles of their neighbors. For caregivers in the trenches, Unseen allows them to be seen.”

The documentary has received critical acclaim and was an official selection in the 2022 Women’s International Film Festival and the 2022 Knoxville Film Festival. It has earned several awards, including a 2022 Los Angeles Film Award for “Best Score,” 2022 New York Film Awards for “Best Cinematography” and “Best Sound Design,” and an Impact DOCS Award of Merit for “Viewer Impact.” Global organizations and advocacy groups including nonprofits, children’s hospitals, corporations and government agencies are hosting screening events to discuss the issues and explore solutions. 

Tickets for the Tennessee premiere and Q&A are on sale now on Eventbrite. Media assets including the official film trailer, posters, photos and clips are available here. 

Tom Dyer, Director & Cinematographer. Tom is a director and cinematographer based in Nashville, Tenn. Tom has extensive experience directing documentary films for global brands and nonprofits. With a passion for emotive storytelling, Tom brings a balance of technical expertise and artful choices to every project. Tom’s awards include numerous Gold and Silver Telly Awards for directing and cinematography.

Amanda Dyer, Director & Producer. Amanda co-founded and serves as creative director of a digital marketing agency in Nashville and has led marketing and creative teams in a variety of corporate and nonprofit settings.