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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 22, 2007

Bijou Theater To Present Screening Of 'So Much So Fast' March 1

The Bijou Theater at the University of Iowa will host a special presentation on Thursday, March 1, of  "So Much So Fast," a documentary from Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan.

The free screening begins at 7 p.m. in the Bijou, located on the first floor of the Iowa Memorial Union. Jordan, a UI alumna, will make introductory remarks to the audience, and following the screening, she will offer additional comments and hold a question and answer session. This screening is being presented by the Bijou and the UI Lecture Committee.

"So Much So Fast" documents five years in the life of Stephen Heywood, who, at the age of 29, discovered he had the paralyzing neurodegenerative disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). The movie unfolds as his brother Jamie becomes obsessed with finding a cure. Determined to live normally, Stephen gets married, has a son and rebuilds two houses. His observations and those of his wife, Wendy, on the world and his disease explore the fragility of life.

"So Much So Fast" premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 and is being released theatrically in the U.S. It will be broadcast on PBS' "Frontline," the BBC series "Storyville," ZDF Germany, and Arte in France. The documentary won the Audience Award at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

Ascher and Jordan were introduced to the world of ALS when Jeanne's mother, who is featured in their 1996 film "Troublesome Creek," came down with the disease.

"We had been looking for a way to express the jaw-dropping impossibility of ALS through film, and in 2000, we came across the Heywoods' story in a New Yorker profile by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Weiner," said Jordan and Ascher. "In the Heywoods, we saw another chance to explore universal themes in the particulars of one family's story. There is tremendous vitality in the multiple threads of their experience."

Jordan graduated from the UI and began her career at Iowa Public Television. She has been making documentary and dramatic films for over 20 years. "Troublesome Creek," which Jordan produced and directed (with Ascher) and edited, tells the Jordan family's struggle to save their Iowa farm. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance in addition to numerous other honors. The film was released theatrically, broadcast on PBS' "American Experience," the BBC, ZDF Germany and on other networks around the world.

She has edited many films, including the groundbreaking civil rights series "Eyes on the Prize" which won an Emmy Award and the DuPont Columbia Award, and films for "American Experience," including season opener, "Amelia Earhart" and "The Wright Stuff." Other films include "My Mother's Murder" for HBO and the Emmy-nominee, "A Normal Face" for "NOVA."

Her dramatic feature work includes several films for "American Playhouse," including "Noon Wine," "Lemon Sky" and the Emmy-winning series "Concealed Enemies" on the trials of Alger Hiss. She edited the bilingual feature, "Blue Diner."

Her honors and awards include the Prix Italia, a Peabody award, an International Documentary Association Distinguished Achievement Award, and a nomination for a Directors Guild of America Award.

Jordan will also be a guest on the Friday, March 2 edition of "Know the Score LIVE!," which is broadcast 5-7 p.m. on Iowa Public Radio station KSUI-FM 91.7.

SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,; Program: Bijou Theater, 319-335-3258.

PHOTOS: High definition photos of Jordan and her film "So Much So Fast" are available for download at