Press

Awards

2017 Cleveland International Film Festival, Winner Global Health Competition

News

April 2017 – Documentaries celebrate independence at IFFBoston “Robin Berghaus’s inspiring, heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious STUMPED takes up the traumatic tale of filmmaker and teacher William Lautzenheiser, who was just beginning his career when all his limbs were amputated. Lautzenheiser’s response? Stand-up comedy. After he agrees to undergo revolutionary double arm transplantation surgery, the doubts and ordeal put his sense of humor to the test.” The Boston Globe by Peter Keough

April 2017 – For 15th Year, Independent Film Fest Boston Promises Eclectic Films With Staying Power “[STUMPED] chronicles Will’s recent historic double arm transplant operation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital…’the festival is filled with moments that are potentially life-changing. It can be a film that you can’t get out of your head for years.'” WBUR’s The ARTery by Sean Burns

April 2017 – Indie Rocks. The cinephile community unites for New England’s Finest Film Fest. “IFFBoston’s Opening Night Film, STUMPED, is…Robin Berghaus’ stirring documentary feature that chronicles Will’s devastating ordeal and the unexpected form of therapy he pursues: performing stand-up comedy…The show must go on, indeed.” The Improper Bostonian by Brett Michel

April 2017 – STUMPED is both a celebration of its subject and a love letter to the city of Boston. “NewEnglandFilm.com’s Evan Crean spoke with Berghaus about what drove her tell to Will’s story, about the empathy and experiences that inspire her work and about how Stumped celebrates not just Will, but the entire city of Boston.” NewEnglandFilm.com by Evan Crean

STUMPED team at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

STUMPED team at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

March 2017 – Latest IFFBoston lineup is a film lover’s breath of fresh air “Opening the festival at the Somerville is a cheeky, involving documentary New England premiere: Robin Berghaus’s STUMPED.” The Boston Globe by Ty Burr

March 2017 – CIFF Short Returns as a Feature Film: Film Documents Tenacious Spirit “Will’s story shows that when innovative medicine is coupled with accessible health care, people’s lives can be saved and transformed.”CIFF41 The Daily by Annie Zaleski
(Full newsletter, PDF)

February 2017 – Frameline’s 2016 Completion Fund Awardees “bolster the conversation on queer and trans experiences and amplify voices of underrepresented communities in regards to race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.”

November 2016 – 2 Years After Double Arm Transplant, Boston Man Is Thriving “Now, Will can turn a doorknob, feed himself, write with a pen and feel the rain on his hands.”Here & Now on National Public Radio by Robin Young

August 2016 – The Arms Belonged to Someone Else. Grueling Work Made Them His Own “Your hands are engines of communication and intimacy, and there’s a lot that can be expressed emotionally through your hands — and to have that restored, for me has been amazing.”
STAT by Karen Weintraub

April 2016 – Double Arm Transplant Recipient Raises Donate Life Flag “In observance of National Donate Life Month, Brigham and Women’s Hospital honored the lives of people who have been impacted by organ and tissue donation and those who have received the life-changing gift of a transplant.”
BWH Bulletin

The Lapse. Episide 30 "His My Arms" with Will Lautzenheiser

September 2015 – Austin Film Society Announces 2015 Grants

July 2015 – His My Arms “Flesh-eating bacteria. A loss of all four limbs. And then? That’s when Will’s story gets really wild.”
The Lapse by Kyle Guest

July 2015 – Strength of Will “We can’t control our circumstances…but we do have control over our attitudes. When faced with any struggle, you have a choice in how you face it.”
COMtalk by Lara Ehrlich

May 2015 – LEF Foundation awards STUMPED a Moving Image Fund Grant

April 2015 – Double-arm transplant recipient shares story
“Every day there are gains. Just yesterday I noticed that I could feel the wind on the palm of my hand…and that’s a sensation I didn’t think I would ever feel again.”
Emerson College Today by Elliot Friar

April 2015 – FRIDAY FACE: Will Lautzenheiser by Aurélie Galois

February 2015 – Abilities, not disabilities, in the spotlight
“Lautzenheiser will make his first public appearance since the transplant when he joins Berghaus for a post-screening discussion.” The Boston Globe by Loren King

January 2015 – January 2015 IB Awesome Award goes to Will Lautzenheiser
“I’ve gotten standing ovations on two occasions at IB, but I can never tell if that’s just people mocking me….” ImprovBoston

Wall Street Journal's 'Photo of the Day' features Will Lautzenheiser at a press conference demonstrating his range of motion after having undergone a double-arm transplantation at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Photo by Brian Snyder/REUTERS

Wall Street Journal‘s “Photo of the Day” features Will Lautzenheiser at a press conference demonstrating his range of motion after having undergone a double-arm transplantation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Photo by Brian Snyder/REUTERS

January 2015 – Man Who Lost All Four Limbs Receives Double Arm Transplant
“These are living, changing hands. We felt the pulse after surgery. The nails and hair are growing. It’s astonishing.'”
Here & Now on National Public Radio by Robin Young

November 2014 – Donated arms thrill transplant recipient
“I said, ‘no, this would never be a possibility for me. This is totally farfetched. Now it’s happened. It’s amazing.'”
The Boston Globe by Liz Kowalczyk

November 2014 – Wall Street Journal’s “Photos of the Day”
See Will’s photo (10 of 12) in the company of Pope Francis.
Wall Street Journal and Reuters by Brian Snyder

November 2014 – Former quadruple amputee…says he’s happy to hug his loved ones once again “He’s grateful to the anonymous donor who ‘will always be as close to me as my own skin.'”
Associated Press, MailOnline by Alexandra Klausner

November 2014 – Double-arm transplant recipient thanks doctors in Boston
“He said having the news limbs was ‘incredible’ and ‘surreal.'” Reuters by Brian Snyder

November 2014 – ‘An Incredible Gift’: Double Arm Transplant Recipient Gives Thanks
“There were so many things that I didn’t even realize I missed doing and now the capacity for doing those things is within reach, literally within reach.” NBC News by Stacey Naggiar

September 2014 – Finding the humor in a twist of fate
“I’m pretty sure their humor helped keep me sane. Rehab turned out to be an ideal incubator for the show.”
The Boston Globe by James Sullivan

September 2014 – AFS Grants 2014: A Sneak Peek into Texas Filmmaking (Part Two)
Slackerwood by Caitlin Moore

Robin Young (right) interviews Will Lautzenheiser. At left is his partner Angel Gonzalez. On the couch is twin Tom Lautzenheiser. (Sam Fields/Here & Now)

Robin Young (right) interviews Will Lautzenheiser, his partner Angel Gonzalez (left), and twin Tom Lautzenheiser (on couch). (Photo by Sam Fields)

July 2014 – As Quadruple Amputee Awaits Arm Transplant, Identical Twin Waits As Well
The twins speak about the impact on both their lives and about how stand-up comedy has become a healing tool for Will. Here & Now on National Public Radio by Robin Young

June 2014 – “[Will] hopes his new arms will allow him to put on his own leg prostheses, which he cannot do now, and he looks forward to holding his niece and his partner, cooking, and resuming his film career.” The Boston Globe by Yasmeen Abutaleb

June 2014 – The Goal: New Arms
“What we are hoping to provide … is independence, something no prosthesis can provide.” Harvard Gazette by Alvin Powell

April 2014 – “Short Cuts”: Filmmakers bring diverse perspectives to Aspen Film’s Shortsfest
STUMPED is proof of the limitless possibilities of short film…in ten minutes, this moving documentary includes belly-laugh moments, devastating drama, and an inspiring story arc.”
Time Out: Aspen Daily News by Andrew Travers

April 2014 – Rat Pack, Afronauts, Imaginary Friends—Best Of The Independent Film Fest
“[STUMPED] gives an unpitying look at what happens when filmmaker Will Lautzenheiser loses all four limbs to a voracious, life-threatening infection. The camera brings us face-to-face into [his] forthright and funny response.”
WBUR, The ARTery by Erin Trahan

March 2014 – Aspen Shortsfest Announces 2014 Lineup
“From our festival seats we travel together to all seven continents–even Antarctica–to experience the imagination of our talented filmmakers and their creative risk-taking.”
Indiewire by Melina Gills

March 2014 – AFS ShortCase Lineup for SXSW 2014
“Will completely opens himself to the camera as he puts together his new life.”
Slackerwood by Mike Saulters