Award-winning screenwriter and producer Mark Hefti, an Onalaska native, will be on hand for a Nov. 24 La Crosse screening of his latest film, “Someone You Love: The HPV epidemic.”
Directed by longtime collaborator Frederic Lumiere (whose other documentary projects include the Emmy-winning TV series “WWII in HD” and “Sacrifice”), “Someone You Love” tells the story of five women touched by the cancer-causing, sexually transmitted human papilloma virus.
HPV can trigger several kinds of cancer, including cervical cancer, the second-most-prevalent cancer in women. Cervical cancer annually kills more than 270,000 women worldwide. With vaccines that have become available in the past decade, though, those cervical cancer deaths are largely preventable.
“Someone You Love,” which is narrated by Vanessa Williams, premiered Sept. 21 at the Golden Door International Film Festival in New Jersey. In addition to screenings at other film festivals, Hefti and Lumiere are arranging screenings around the country, often accompanying the film to offer post-screening Q&A sessions.
The screenings require a minimum number of online advance ticket sales. For the La Crosse screening, 70 tickets must be sold by Nov. 17 to ensure the film will be shown as scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at Marcus Cinema in La Crosse.
Hefti and Lumiere also are completing work on another cervical cancer-related documentary, “Lady Ganga,” that has attracted a lot of national attention and $100,000 in pledges in the first five days of their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. “Lady Ganga” focuses on the life and death of Michele Baldwin, a New Mexico woman who paddleboarded 700 miles on the Ganges River in India as she came to terms with her terminal cervical cancer.
Hefti has an appearance booked the week of Nov. 10-15 to talk about “Lady Ganga” on Meredith Vieira’s talk show, and Maria Shriver recently did a report on the project.