Out of Breath is a documentary by Iris Verhoeven and Els Anker. The film tells the touching story of Sarah Smit (28) and Kim Clement (30), two young women who suffer from the hereditary and (so far) incurable disease Cystic Fibrosis. An honest tale of inspiration and passion, but also adversity and uncertainty.
Even Though the 28-year-old Sarah Smith has Cystic Fibrosis, that does not mean she goes down without a fight. She lives with her Australian fiance Shane and their dog,Boomer, in Haarlem (Holland). Before settling down she traveled around the world as a (Playboy) model and au pair. Although Cystic Fibrosis plays an increasingly important role in her life, Sarah is very active: she shares all aspects of the illness on her blog ‘The Coughing Adventurer‘ and is working with Bowe Frankema to establish a CF community, a virtual place where patients and their loved ones can share experiences about living with Cystic Fibrosis.
After years of struggling with Cystic Fibrosis, Kim Clement’s (30) condition rapidly deteriorated, so in April 2009 she was placed on the lung transplant list. Because of the substantial donor shortage doctors can not tell you how long the wait will last. A day? A couple of weeks? After twenty-six months of waiting, Kim eventually undergoes a double lung transplant. This is a major operation where only patients with a serious disease for which no other treatment is possible are eligible. Now, Kim is enjoying life to the fullest. She works in a health center and lives with her friend Robin in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Brabant (The Netherlands).
The documentary Out Of Breath is produced for CampusDoc, an international training program where journalism students spend the entirety of their last year to the making of a documentary. Sixteen promising students were trained in the skill of making documentaries and everything that comes with it. Before that, the group also went to America to be taught at the City University of New York. The editors of CampusDoc are seen as one of the most intensive and instructive at the School of Journalism. The previously made documentaries have been broadcasted on many channels (including the Netherlands two and HollandDoc) and some of the documentaries are broadcasted at major film festivals (including AlJazeera Documentary).