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Scattering CJ on PBS

Aug 26, 2022

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“SCATTERING CJ” PREMIERES ON PUBLIC TELEVISION THIS FALL

LivingWorks Supports Award-Winning Film Chronicling Mother’s Inspired Approach to Honor Son’s Life & Support Suicide Prevention

CALGARY, August 27, 2022 – 20-year-old CJ Twomey was a veteran who hoped to see the world. Struggling to find meaning and purpose after CJ died by suicide, his mother Hallie had an inspiration. She posted a request on Facebook: would anyone consider spreading a small bag of her son’s ashes somewhere in the world that was meaningful to them? Her heartfelt request struck a chord, creating a global online community of tens of thousands and inspiring more than 1,000 “scatterers” who documented the delivery of CJ’s ashes across every continent.

“My son’s suicide killed the person I was before. Yet, it’s also driven me to action.” – Hallie Twomey.

Now, Scattering CJ, the award-winning documentary about Hallie’s healing mission from Emmy-winning filmmaker Andrea Kalin, is coming to public television in September, during National Suicide Prevention Month. The film, which has sparked essential conversations about mental health and suicide prevention, is sponsored in part by LivingWorks. It can be streamed at PBS.org beginning on August 27 or viewed on local public television stations this fall, including a national broadcast on the PBS World Channel (Friday, September 16 at 7 p.m. ET with additional broadcasts to follow; check local listings or visit www.scatteringcjfilm.com/broadcast)

For almost 40 years, LivingWorks has been a world leader in suicide intervention training. The organization teaches the skills to keep people safe from suicide through a variety of programs targeted to different helping roles. LivingWorks sees a world in which people with suicide thoughts and experiences are well-supported to keep safe, access help, and find hope.

"Scattering CJ sparks essential conversations about suicide prevention,” says Dr. Peter Gutierrez, the Executive Vice President of Innovation at LivingWorks. “LivingWorks training prepares people to have those essential, honest conversations, and we are thrilled to champion the film and its mission.”

A Spark Media production written, produced and directed by Kalin, the Scattering CJ story, both uplifting and raw, examines how military recruit CJ’s memory is kept alive through the kindness of strangers willing to scatter his ashes in places of meaning and beauty throughout the world.

“There is no ‘good news story’ when it comes to suicide,” says Kalin. “But the innate goodness Hallie hit upon when she put out that call to the world on Facebook remains profoundly moving and inspiring to us. Hallie trusted our team to chronicle her family’s story during a period of unimaginable loss, and we never took that trust lightly. Her story illustrates the extraordinary bonds formed among strangers through social media and is a much-needed antidote to the darker side of the Internet.”

The public television airings of Scattering CJ follow a successful film festival run and an outreach campaign that has touched people from all walks of life, with special focus directed to the military community and youth—both groups at high risk for mental health issues and suicide. Activities to engage communities have included expert panel discussions, on-demand screenings, live performances, mental health first aid trainings, Capitol Hill forums and Facebook Live sessions. The American Association of Suicidology and other partners working in the areas of mental health and suicide prevention have championed this project and have been invaluable supporters.

Scattering CJ is sponsored by LivingWorks, Southeast Nassau Guidance Center, The Charles E. Kubly Foundation, and Ruderman Family Foundation.

For more information contact: Communications Specialist Kristy Tass kristy.tass@livingworks.com.au

View the trailer for the film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4zeH6Ee-Xg.

Access press materials at scatteringcjfilm.com.

About Spark Media: Founded by filmmaker Andrea Kalin, Washington D.C.-based Spark Media specializes in producing trailblazing documentaries and digital storytelling. With over 100 prestigious, industry awards, Spark Media strives to both inform and inspire audiences with stories that are compelling, entertaining and real.