ABOUT THE FILM

Synopsis

We are living in a time that has been described as the age of loneliness. Despite Western advances in technology, living conditions, education and healthcare, we, as a society, are isolating ourselves from one another, and because of this, facing a health crisis that affects all ages, genders, races, and cultures.

But how have we become so disconnected?  And what can we do to change the status quo and fulfill our potential for health and well-being?

Join wellness expert Tamer Soliman as he journeys through North American cities to meet with local citizens, community activists, and leading authorities on social, economic, and urban planning to discover the true factors that have profound and lasting impacts, not only on our health, but the health of the communities in which we live.

This timely documentary invites us to reflect on the relationships we have with those around us and raises the question: is it possible to overcome our modern culture of disconnectedness and rediscover how truly essential we are to one other?

 

CREATORS

Tamer Soliman

Director, Producer, Co-writer and Narrator

Before producing, writing and directing health documentaries, Tamer built his career as a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and public speaker. While Tamer enjoys working with his loyal client base, he also utilizes media as a way to reach large audiences with messages that positively impact their health and wellbeing. When not working on a film project, Tamer often makes radio and television appearances, and creates content for his fun, yet informative newsletters that reach subscribers across North America and the Caribbean. Get to know more about Tamer at www.tamersoliman.net.

Rob Tyler

Director of Photography, Creative Director and Editor

Rob Tyler is an award winning filmmaker located in the Cayman Islands. He has worked in the creative industry from the ripe age of 15 and studied film in Plymouth England. Rob has been awarded Two ADDY awards for his commercial work to date as well as directing one of Cayman’s most successful documentaries alongside friend and colleague, Tamer Soliman. "Bright Spot" was accepted in to a number of film festivals around the world and received "Best Short Documentary" at the Poinciana Film Festival in March 2016. Rob now runs his own production company Armada Films and is an active member of the film community in Cayman.

Jeremy Walton

Executive Producer, Co-Producer, Photographer

Jeremy Walton has a passion for film and photography.  He’s an award-winning photographer and was associate producer of the film Zombie Driftwood, as well as executive producer of the award-winning “Bright Spot”.  Some of Jeremy’s photographs were recently used to illustrate a video broadcast by none other than Eckhart Tolle on "The Art of Higher Dimensions”.  Jeremy brings his business acumen and attention to detail together with an eye for beautiful photography and cinematography.  

Stephen Price

Executive Producer 

Stephen Price is the driving force of The Price Team of RBC Dominion Securities, a team focused on managing private client wealth since 2001 based in the Cayman Islands. While he has lived primarily in the Cayman Islands, Stephen has studied and worked in many other countries, including South Africa and Spain. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree at Cornell University, MBA with a specialization in finance from the University of London, and Master of Philosophy in management studies from Cambridge University in the UK. He holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation from the Canadian Securities Institute. Focusing on a more balanced lifestyle, eating right and exercising is not enough to feel connected. Stephen’s drive to help make this film a reality is based in spreading the word that community involvement is often the missing link to a connected happiness.   

Neville Hicks

Executive Producer

Neville started his career with DHX Media working with the business development team on taking the media company public on the TSX and AIM stock exchanges. From there, Neville worked in the Media and Telecom investment banking division of The Bank of Nova Scotia. Since moving to Cayman over 7 years ago, Neville now works for Five Continents, the largest independent asset manager in the Cayman Islands. He maintains a passion for film, photography and cooking and being involved in Disconnected has been a great experience getting back into the film industry. 

Candy Whicker

Associate Producer

Candy has always enjoyed telling stories and loves the medium of film, so after 20 years as an investment banker in London and the Cayman Islands she decided to embark on a second career in the world of documentary film. In October 2015 she enrolled in a Documentary Film Course at the Met Film School at Ealing Studios in London. Since then she has worked on a couple of short film projects and in the summer of 2016 she joined Tamer and Rob to assist with some of the logistics of filming Disconnected and to produce a behind the scenes documentary of the project. Candy is married to Simon, has two grown children and lives in the Cayman Islands.

Sarah Douglas

Writer and Story Editor

Sarah is a multi-passionate person whose talents include writing and story editing. She strongly believes that healthy communities are essential to our wellbeing and thus devotes time to both local and international organizations that provide community support, education and coaching to individuals and families. Working on this project was an amazing experience for Sarah, and it is her hope that this film contributes to the movement of creating a more mindful, conscious and connected place for us all to live in.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Directors Statement

Before making this film, I had been aware of the concept of community wellbeing, but I never really thought too much about it, and I definitely didn’t think it was a key factor in achieving optimal health. Working as a health and wellness professional for over a decade, I advised my clients that health was defined by two things: what we ate and how much we exercised.

But all of that changed after a trip to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Rob, my good friend and Director of Photography, and I stayed a few nights in a small mountain camp, outfitted with just the basics for simple village life. The purpose of the trip was to learn from the local population about food, nutrition and sustainable living, but what really overwhelmed us was the profound sense of community. Despite lacking (many possessions and material things), the people of this village seemed happy, healthy and connected to one another. This made me wonder – how do people in North America feel about their sense of community and connectedness? And what, if any, effect does this have on our health and overall wellbeing?

These questions inspired me to direct and produce The Great Disconnect. As I met with experts in economic, social and urban design, I discovered how multifaceted this idea of community wellbeing is, and the ill effects that happen as a result of community breakdown. These issues not only impact personal health and wellbeing but the health and wellbeing of communities on a much larger scale. Loneliness and social isolation are being labeled as epidemics - epidemics that may become one of society’s biggest challenges of the 21st century.

Making this film has changed my definition of what it really means to be healthy - physically, emotionally, and socially.  My hope is that by watching this film people will reflect on the idea that to be well, we need to find ways to come together. The health of society as a whole depends on it.

Tamer Soliman, Director

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REVIEWS

This film assisted us in creating a space that enabled our audience to reflect on the human need for belonging and highlighted that meaningful relationships with others is what drives our sense of belonging. This in turn helped youth delegates and adults in our audience to connect in a meaningful way, and to recognize the gaps that exist in our society, so that together we can continue to address the barriers of isolation for all people living in our communities. The message of this film is timely and relevant to audiences of all ages.

Emily Branje

Community Living Ontario
As Chair of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards I am very much interested in individuals' and societies' well-being. Those who study well-being have come to realize they need to broaden their perspective beyond standard measures such as employment and income. Social connections feature prominently in self-assessments of happiness or well-being. Solid social and family connections are common factors for individuals and societies who age well, physically and mentally. The Great Disconnect provides a masterful distillation of these theoretical links to well-being. But the documentary provides its greatest service in demonstrating at the personal level how connections support well-being and isolation leads to mental and physical impairment. The documentary is informative and entertaining while driving home a powerful lesson in this era of the great disconnect. Hang up and connect!

Don Drummond

Former Chief Economist and SVP, TD Bank Former Associate Deputy Minister, Finance Canada Stauffer-Dunning Fellow, Queen's University
Here in the City of Edmonton, we have a civic department called "The Neighbourhoods Services”, staff work hard to stand with neighbourhood leaders as they focus on building their local communities. This documentary is a tool that leaps that work forward. Municipalities, NGO's, neighbourhood leadership all stand to advance the neighbouring movement through the showing of this compelling work.

Howard Lawrence

Abundant Community Coordinator City of Edmonton

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