After contemplating this story for years, I finally decided to put it to paper and pursue its development into an animated short film.
“Breath ” is inspired by the true story of a dear friend of mine, Francesco, who passed away years ago. He battled with his congenital heart disease all his life.From birth, it prevented him from enjoying the simplest daily pleasures that most of us take for granted.
Francesco died during one of the many, many operations he had to undergo in his quest to survive. That last procedure was to be the one that could have restored what had been missing since birth. While he was well aware of the risks, all he cared about was achieving his long, sought-after dream — a normal life.
At first, my intent was to honor the sacrifices he had made against impossible odds, to acknowledge his determination to risk everything, and immortalize his quest by creating a short film about him. But soon it dawned on me that, while it may have been short, his life had indeed been full. At age twenty, he had achieved more than many ever would. He had given meaning to his life by fighting for his dream until his last breath.
The message of the film was not to be one of pity for some young man who had never had the opportunity to grow old. The real story should profile what it means to have the courage to follow your dreams, what it is to give meaning to your life. It should underscore what passion leads one to never stop fighting for one’s dreams, no matter how small or large, or how improbable they seem.
Through Francesco’s courage and example, I learned that imagination can overcome fear. Use of imagination can define it, shape it, even manage it. And understanding one’s fear, allows one to surmount obstacles, to make strides towards one’s goal, no matter what. What greater purpose can there be?