By Todd G. Patkin
This past November I joined Gary Marino and Dr. Howard Rankin (who played a major role in the Million Calorie March film) on a trip to the City of Brotherly Love to accept our “Freddie” award in the “Diet & Nutrition Category”. As you may know already, Gary and I both received our very own Freddies for producing “Million Calorie March: The Movie”.
Boy was I shocked at how coveted, recognized and admired the Freddie Awards are within the medical film industry. Bill Gates, Magic Johnson, the late ABC Anchor Peter Jennings are all past winners. We were winners along with productions from HBO, NBC and Discovery Health Channel – and U2’s Bono even congratulated all of the 2008 award winners via video!
Because the movie was a labor of love (much more labor I must admit for Gary and his team), we had no idea how difficult it is to actually win one of these – or that we would be up against some of the most talented filmmakers from all over the world! In fact, at cocktail
parties and receptions we spoke to several winners who said it was their professional life’s ambition to win a Freddie Award. Some had submitted 4 to 6 films over 10– 20 years to finally win. Many judges approached us and told us that our film was the clear winner among the
competition and had such “soul”….which made us feel great.
As for the awards ceremony itself (which took place at Philadelphia’s elegant Crystal Tea Room), it was essentially the Oscars of medical and health awards and we were one of the last awards of the night. At the podium to accept the award, Gary of course, pulled out some of his jokes about Philly Cheese Steak – but then got serious and dedicated his trophy to his late mother Lorraine “Rainbow” Marino. “You can thank your tuxedo maker or make it a moment” said Gary. “I decided to make it a moment and thank our film production team as well as my mom”.
Congratulations to all involved in this amazing movie on the FREDDIE AWARD!!!!!!