Sonoma native Sarah Barbulesco, Sonoma Valley High class of ’99, has been working for the past several years to produce “Remember Isobel,” a movie about Alzheimer’s disease, that will begin filming this summer.
Barbulesco’s goal is both educational and medical – to spotlight the fact that, in an aging America, Alzheimer’s is reaching epidemic proportions and also to contribute monetarily to finding a cure. She plans to donate the proceeds from “Remember Isobel,” to Alzheimer’s disease research.
Barbulesco’s screenplay centers around a family confronted with the hardships of losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s disease. In 2012, she brought “Remember Isobel,” to the stage in Sacramento, where she now lives, as a live theater production which was well received.
In 2013, the screenplay attracted attention in Hollywood. Producer Chadwick Struck joined the project last spring and, shortly after, executive producers Alfred Molina (“Spiderman 2”), Michael Badalucco (“The Practice”), Don Most (“Happy Days”) and Ronnie Marmo (“General Hospital”) came on board. Since then, a number of notable actors have shown interest in the lead roles of “Remember Isobel.” Official casting will occur later this spring.
Barbulesco has launched an Indiegogo campaign that will run through April 1 at igg.me/at/rememberisobel to help finance the film. All donations are 100 percent tax-deductible.
The film has garnered broad support. Folk singer-songwriter John McCutcheon donated a dozen of his CDs to be given to the first 12 indiegogo respondents to contribute at least $100, and his song, “Last First Kiss” will be featured in the film. For those who are fans of the hit TV Series “Happy Days,” actor Don Most will have dinner in Sacramento with the first 10 people to donate at least $500.
Born and raised in Sonoma, Barbulesco is a graduate of UC Davis with degrees both in English and in film. She is the head of education and a teacher at Wayne Geri Academy, a small sixth- through 12th-grade private school she started five years ago in Sacramento. In addition, she has written, directed and produced a number of stage plays and films and is the CEO of MIM Bolide Productions Company.
Her parents, Carolyn and Noel Barbulesco, still live in Sonoma.
Barbulesco drew on her own experiences of the loss of her grandmother to Alzheimer’s for this film. She welcomes supporters to share their stories with her by leaving a message on the Remember Isobel Facebook page or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The movie trailer can be seen at youtube.com/watch?v=1byTZ7P4DsQ.