11th Annual Manhattan Film Festival Set To Open With World Premiere of The Pathological Optimist

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Director Miranda Bailey Weaves Delicate Portrait of Andrew Wakefield

Manhattan Film Festival announced that The Pathological Optimist by Director Miranda Bailey, has been selected to open the 11th annual series on April 20, 2017. The documentary is a character study that features never-before-seen, full access footage, of the man at the center of one of the biggest medical and media controversies of our time – Andrew Wakefield – whose film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, screened at last year’s Manhattan Film Festival and sparked fierce debate.

“As a filmmaker, I was drawn to exploring a controversial subject so I’m grateful that the Manhattan Film Festival embraces provocative films, and I look forward to premiering The Pathological Optimist, says Director Miranda Bailey.

The screening will also include a filmmaker Q & A with participants in the film to create an open discussion about the subject matter.

“MFF strongly feels part of the role for an independent film festival is to spark debate and give filmmakers a platform,” said Festival Director Philip Nelson. “We are thrilled and honored to open the festival with The Pathological Optimist, and look forward to the dialog to follow.”

Bailey made her directorial debut with the documentary Greenlit – a humorous documentary examining the hypocrisy inherent in Hollywood’s “green” movement - premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival to critical acclaim and was acquired by IFC International. Additionally, she established herself as a prolific producer championing independent films as CEO of Cold Iron Pictures. In the last year, her film Swiss Army Man and Don’t Think Twice were released to box office success and critical acclaim. Her most recent film, Norman, will be released by Sony Classics April 14.

A complete lineup of films will be announced March 8th. The 11th annual Manhattan Film Festival will take place April 19-30, 2017. For more information on the Manhattan Film Festival, visit http://manhattanff.com/

Social Media: Facebook @manhattanfilmfestival | Twitter @ManhattanFF

Opening Night Festival Media and Q&A Segment Inquiries: Alvin Woods, The Media Model. E: alvin(at)themediamodel(dot)com

Opening Night Film and Director Interview Inquiries: Hilda Somarriba, Prism Media Group. E: hilda(at)prism-mg(dot)com

About Manhattan Film Festival (MFF):
MFF was founded by independent filmmakers that learned first-hand how hard it is to find an independent film an audience. For more than a decade we have worked to program a diverse film lineup that features student, emerging, and established filmmakers. Each year MFF honors three filmmakers with a Film Heals Award. This award recognizes filmmakers that use the power of film to promote peace, justice, equality, and humanity.

Our widely popular Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program generates thousands of dollars for independent filmmakers. This program allows filmmakers the opportunity to earn 50% of each ticket sold. Participants will be given an affiliate account where they can track sales in real time. This year we are launching our Filmmaker Advisory Program. This program will feature customized mentoring sessions for filmmakers.

The PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST takes us into the inner sanctum of Andrew Wakefield – the subject at the center of the recent Tribeca Film Festival scandal surrounding his film VAXXED: From Cover-up to Controversy – discredited and stripped of his medical license for his infamous study suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease, and autism. The film chronicles Wakefield and his family from 2011- 2016 as he fights for his day in court in a little-known defamation case against the British Medical Journal. Wakefield attempts to clear his name as the media-appointed Father of the Anti-vaccine movement. Director Miranda Bailey weaves a delicate portrait of a man who is THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST utilizing a never-before-seen, full access look at the man at the center of one of the biggest medical and media controversies of our times.

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