Matter of Mind: My ALS

An intimate and multifaceted portrait of neurodegenerative diseases—illustrating the science of the brain through stories from the heart.

Phil Freelon poses for photo with son Pierce Freelon at his home in Durham, NC.
Independent Lens
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
Headshot of Anna Moot-Levin

Anna Moot-Levin

Anna Moot-Levin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, and editor with a passion for stories about health and healthcare. Her debut documentary, The Providers, aired on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2019. She is also an associate producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job (2010). She has a Master of Fine Arts in documentary Show more film from Stanford University and is based in Brooklyn, New York. Show less

Headshot of Joanna Rudnick

Laura Green

Laura Green is an award-winning documentary director and editor based in San Francisco. Her debut documentary, The Providers, aired on Independent Lens in 2019. She most recently edited the documentary When I Write It, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2020, as well as the IDA award-nominated documentary web-series The F-Word. She is an Show more assistant professor at San Francisco State University. Show less


David Alvarado

David Alvarado is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a passion for science, philosophy, and human rights. He is the son of a Mexican immigrant, and although he dropped out of high school, his pursuit of filmmaking and love of science helped him find a passion that changed his life forever. Today, he lives in New York City, obsessively making films Show more about science to help build a better world. Show less

Other ITVS Films
True Conviction

Jason Sussberg

Jason Sussberg is a documentary filmmaker focusing on the AH! (art and humanity) in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Past life: motion graphic designer; sports television producer with the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors; and community college film instructor. Present life: documentary filmmaker at Show more Structure Films. Show less

We fund untold stories for public media.

Learn more about funding opportunities with ITVS.

The Film

More than 6.5 million Americans living with neurodegenerative diseases are challenged every day to maintain a sense of self. These illnesses touch a huge swath of the American population—with no concern for socio-economic, ethnic, religious, or any other self-definition. And yet there is much more to learn about them at the scientific, social, and therapeutic levels. Matter of Mind is a journey into the world of neurodegenerative diseases that compel scientists and families to search for interventions and cures. This series of documentaries focuses on three different neurodegenerative diseases—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. In this intimate journey, Matter of Mind travels across the United States, weaving together stories of the people suffering from these diseases, those caring for them, and the doctors pioneering patient treatment and offering hope through research and new medicine.