Truelove: The Film | Film Threat

Among the many reasons filmmakers make documentaries, awareness is one of the important reasons. Unfortunately, issues that severely affect a small minority are either forgotten or remain unknown. In his documentary, Truelove: The Film, Phil Viardo shines a light on the little-known genetic condition known as Williams syndrome.

Williams syndrome refers to the deletion of a specific group of genes on chromosome #7. Williams manifests itself early in underdeveloped babies experiencing abnormal growth rates of the aorta. As a result, they experience low birth weight, low muscle tone, and facial features, including a wide mouth and full lips. However, children with Williams syndrome also seem to have a generally positive outlook on life and a love for music.

“Williams syndrome refers to the deletion of a specific group of genes on chromosome #7.”

The titular Truelove refers to Callie Truelove, a young, charismatic woman who lives a full and happy life with Williams. When Callie’s mother Tabitha was pregnant with her fourth daughter, the family was ecstatic, to say the least. But concern arose when Callie experienced heart problems and would cry incessantly.

Now an adult, Callie would share her experiences on YouTube, which garnered the attention of families worldwide who needed a name/diagnosis for their child’s condition. Her story was seen by Christopher Knight (yep, Peter Brady), whose production company is responsible for Truelove: The Film. Today, Callie has dedicated herself to supporting others with Williams and their families.

The common thread of the documentary is Callie’s Truelove bus tour and her cross-country journey to meet others inflicted with Williams Sydrome. Truelove: The Film is not short on subjects. Young child Clancey has a similar story to Callie’s. When Clancey’s mother learned about Williams, the local university invited her to be part of its music therapy program to study the disorder and create treatments to deal with her anxiety and stress. The kids in the program took part in a choir and performed annually at the Grand Old Opry with artists like Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker.

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