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Celebrate Now

Leslie Ann Epperson
United States, 2016, 11 min.

In English.
This film is family friendly.

High above the desert in Tucson, against a backdrop of the Santa Catalina mountains, a young woman stretches upside down to the ground far below. She is smiling, seemingly unaware of the danger of dangling from a crane. Celebrate Now is an emotional documentary about acrobatic performer Jennifer Coughlan. Her fierce determination to soar, stilt, or samba with courage and grace is impressive. Her day job as a nurse never seems to get in the way. She seems immune to risk. In truth, Jen uses the lessons learned on high to help face a more constant threat, for Jen is coping with terminal breast cancer.

Director's Statement

I first met Jen Coughlan while recording a performance for another documentary. Jen was dancing on stilts, which takes great strength as well as talent. Over the years, I came to know Jen not only as a disciplined and powerful dancer but as a warm and gentle soul. I was shocked when she recently disclosed a diagnosis of terminal breast cancer, for she still performs. I asked to film her story. With typical bravery, Jen reveals her pain and her joy inspiring me and others to try to celebrate each moment of life we are offered.

Category: Documentary, Festival Alum.
Themes: Arizona Film.

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