Awards & Honors

Winner, Global Health Competition
2017 Cleveland International Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary, Youth Film Jury Award
2017 Rhode Island International Film Festival

Showcase Program
2017 Frameline

Opening Night Film
2017 Independent Film Festival Boston


Meghna Chakrabarti, Robin Berghaus and Will Lautzenheiser after an interview on WBUR's Radio Boston

Meghna Chakrabarti, Robin Berghaus and Will Lautzenheiser at WBUR’s Radio Boston

“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.”
by Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

“There’s an incredibly beautiful b-story about devotion running throughout this film, and it’s astonishing how much emotion is packed into STUMPED…”
by Nick Johnston, Vanyaland

“Cinema should be so lucky to see a film as upfront and accessible as STUMPED…The images Berghaus captures through her lens are images we can’t erase from our minds.”
by Andy Crump, Paste

STUMPED featured in "The Improper Bostonian"

STUMPED featured in “The Improper Bostonian”

“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.”
by Brett Michel, The Improper Bostonian

“Amazing characters, POWERFUL doc…”
by Jason Gorber, CTV News Channel

“Berghaus’s spirited, crowd-pleasing medical drama was a no-brainer for IFFBoston’s Opening Night.”
by Gerald Peary, The Arts Fuse

STUMPED Follows A Life After Tragedy And Double Arm Transplant
by Alison Bruzek and Meghna Chakrabarti, WBUR’s Radio Boston

For 15th Year, Independent Film Fest Boston Promises Eclectic Films With Staying Power
by Sean Burns, WBUR’s The ARTery

A conversation with filmmaker Robin Berghaus about why her documentary STUMPED is both a celebration of its subject and a love letter to the city of Boston.
by Evan Crean,

“Opening the festival at the Somerville is a cheeky, involving documentary New England premiere: Robin Berghaus’s, STUMPED…”
by Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

CIFF Short Returns as a Feature Film: Film Documents Tenacious Spirit
by Annie Zaleski, The Daily

STUMPED team at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

STUMPED team at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“This powerful and funny film takes viewers on a beautifully lensed, emotional, and incredible journey along with the subject and his family and friends.”

Stories about Will Lautzenheiser and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“Now, Will can turn a doorknob, feed himself, write with a pen and feel the rain on his hands.”
by Robin Young, National Public Radio’s Here & Now

“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.”
by Karen Weintraub, STAT

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

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

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.'”
by Robin Young, National Public Radio’s Here & Now

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

“I’m pretty sure their humor helped keep me sane. Rehab turned out to be an ideal incubator for the show.”
by James Sullivan, The Boston Globe

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.”
by Robin Young, National Public Radio’s Here & Now

Brigham OK’s plans to give filmmaker 2 arm transplants
“[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.”
by Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Boston Globe

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

National Public Radio’s “Here & Now” host Robin Young (right) interviews Will Lautzenheiser, his partner Angel Gonzalez (left), and twin Tom Lautzenheiser Photo by Sam Fields

“What we are hoping to provide … is independence, something no prosthesis can provide.”
by Alvin Powell, Harvard Gazette

Stories about the short documentary, STUMPED (2014)

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.”
by Andrew Travers, Time Out: Aspen Daily News

“[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.”
by Erin Trahan, WBUR’s The ARTery

“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.”
by Melina Gills, Indiewire

STUMPED Production Stills