alive inside

In Theaters July 2014

Sundance Film Festival
Alive Inside is produced by Ximotion Media, a documentary production company dedicated to expanding the well-being of us all. This film was made possible by a generous grant from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation and a production grant from Eyeballnyc. The inspiration for this film is the work of Dan Cohen and Thank you to the Derek Fresse Documentary Fund and the 700 private citizens who donated to this film.
"It really surprised me, it is such a multi-layered film! Funny, beautiful, it radiates this message out, on a different wavelength. I was blown away by how touching and moving it really was! This message has to be spread!"

The Film

Alive Inside is a joyous exploration into our relationship with music and how it can reawaken our souls to discover the deepest parts of humanity. This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and return a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.

Through illuminating conversations with experts such as renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, and astonishing experiences with patients around the country, who have been revitalized by their love of music, director Michael Rossato-Bennett has crafted an inspiring, feel-good cinematic experience that sweeps audiences up in its uplifting and moving story. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Alive Inside leaves us humming, clapping and cheering as music lifts the audience's and its characters' very souls.

About Us

Michael Rossato-Bennett - Writer/Director/Producer

Michael Rossato-Bennett is the Writer, Director and Producer of Alive Inside – winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary – and through film he strives to incite conversations that interrogate issues related to cultural consciousness. In addition to Alive Inside, his first feature length offering, Rossato-Bennett has several documentaries in various stages of development, through his production company, Projector Media. Each of those projects is inspired by Michael’s dedication to the collective well being of society and progressive human change towards the greater, if not greatest, good.

Alexandra McDougald – Producer

Alexandra McDougald is a ten-year entertainment industry veteran, and the producer of Alive Inside, winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary. Prior to Alive Inside, Alex concentrated her efforts in publicity and distribution, serving as the lead on campaigns for Image Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment, among others. Most recently, she managed U.S. distribution for Teza – the latest dramatic feature from celebrated Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima – and led publicity for the home entertainment release of Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.

Manuel Tsingaris – Principle Editor

An editor for twenty years, some of Manuel Tsingaris’ recent projects include:
The Storm that Swept Mexico, a documentary that aired on PBS in 2011, telling the story of the 1910 Mexican revolution and A Dream In Doubt, which follows a Sikh man's journey to find peace and justice after his brother is killed shortly after 9/11. Manuel was also a contributing editor on the critically acclaimed mini documentary series, “Life 360” – a co-venture between ABC/Nightline and PBS.

Mark Demolar – Editor

Mark Demolar is an editor and filmmaker, based in Brooklyn, New York. For the last five years, in addition to working in film, he has toured the country with his band Woodsman. A lover of art, he is known for his work in music video and video installation. Alive Inside marks Demolar’s first endeavor as a feature editor. His experience on this project sparked what is now a deep desire to discover new perspectives through the art of documentary narrative.

Shachar Langlev – Director of Photography

Alive Inside is Shachar Langlev’s feature film debut as Director of Photography. Israeli-born and Brooklyn-based, he’s been gaining recognition in his field, garnering awards such as the Eastman Kodak Award for Excellence in Cinematography. Shachar works extensively with musicians in the hip-hop community and New York’s jazz scene and has shot music videos and live shows for MTV, VH1 and BET. He is currently in pre-production for his first narrative feature as well as for a documentary feature in collaboration with Elie Wiesel.

Itaal Shur – Composer

Itaal Shur is best known for co-writing the Santana hit “Smooth” with Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas. The composition earned him a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, in 2000. Shur was a founding member of the group Groove Collective, and co-penned the song “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” with Maxwell for his debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. In addition to writing and recording, Shur has created an artist development and production company, and produces music for broadcast and computer animation.

Barry Cole – Co-Producer – Transmedia, Music Supervisor

Barry Cole is a Transmedia Producer and Music Supervisor who started the Music Department for New York based film studio, The Shooting Gallery. Since that time, Cole has given music supervision to over 80 media projects. In 2013, he earned a Grammy nomination for producing the soundtrack album to the feature documentary Marley. As a Transmedia Producer for film and television, Cole employs new and emerging technologies to increase audience engagement and overall user experience.

Dan Cohen – Founder & Executive Director, Music & Memory

Dan Cohen is founder and executive director of Music & Memory, which promotes the use of digital music players with individualized playlists to improve the quality of life for elders, regardless of their cognitive or physical status. He received his MSW from Adelphi University. Dan has spent most of his career helping individuals and organizations better leverage technology. Music & Memory operates in hundreds of long-term care homes across the U.S. and abroad.

Get Involved

At the heart of ALIVE INSIDE is the idea of a renewed sense of communal involvement. If you have been moved by Henry’s clip and this project, here are a few ways you can become involved.


We have been blown away by all of the amazing stories left here on our website, on YouTube, and all over the web. We’d love to hear more! Send us an e-mail. Over the next few weeks we’ll even feature a few here and on the Music & Memory website.

You can also help by telling your friends about the film, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.


To support Dan's work please make a donation to the Music & Memory project. For information on other ways you can help, visit


In the next few months we will have a number of other exciting ways for you to get involved. Join our mailing list and help us change the lives of the millions of elders who deserve to be ALIVE INSIDE.

This will be our blog.

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