When you witness someone having their dream come true, you can gain the belief that anything is possible. This is especially true when that person has overcome many obstacles and challenges before achieving their goal.
Many people felt this way when they learned that Logan’s Syndrome won the best documentary at the Carmel International Film Festival last week.
Winning Documentary, Logan’s Syndrome, Event Details
We started receiving questions about our experiences surrounding the premiere of Logan’s Syndrome. It was fun for us to relive those amazing times as we wrote them down. We hope you enjoy sharing our exciting experiences as you read our stories.
After waiting for, what felt like, a long year to hear the news that Logan’s Syndrome was scheduled for a film festival, we finally received a text from Nathan Meier, the producer. The film had been accepted into the Carmel International Film Festival and would premiere Oct. 20. We were so excited!
Two Months Before Logan’s Syndrome Premiere
The producers introduced the idea of setting up an art exhibit in the foyer of the Sunset Theater, where the film would premiere. Logan’s desires to finish the paintings increased when he heard about this idea.
As Logan was madly painting, my brother, Shaun Lether, owner of Metamorphic Internet Marketing, Heather, and I flipped into high gear to get our website, debbiejorde.com, completed in time for the festival.
We wanted Heather’s writings to be available for everyone to read. We all worked very long, hard hours to prepare for the big event!
I would like to publically thank Shaun. Without him, this website wouldn’t have been possible! You can find Shaun at, metamorphicinternetmarketing.com.
After thinking about the logistics of safely transporting, setting up, and securing the safekeeping of Logan’s art pieces all the way from SLC to California, we concluded that setting up an exhibit was too much to arrange and decided not to do this. We felt relieved after making the decision.
Overcoming Challenges During Traveling to Logan’s Syndrome Premiere
Traveling is difficult for Heather, Logan, and me, especially when we travel together. We have multiple medical bags, on top of the usual carry-on bags. For this trip, we had eleven carry-on bags.
We learned from our travel experiences in the past that we needed assistance from the airlines and their contracted disability service company.
Using our reliable Delta Airlines contacts, Joyce A. Pearson in SLC, and Angela O. Kempis in San Jose, I arranged to have help at the airport from curb to plane in SLC, and from plane to rental car in San Jose, CA. in both directions. Thank you Joyce and Angela!
We thank Delta employees and those contracted by Delta for the help they provided and for taking such great care of us all the way to California and back again!
Stop, Look, Listen, and Smell the Ocean Along the 17-Mile Drive
We rented a car and drove from San Jose to Monterey, CA, along the world renounced 17-Mile Drive.
The scenery along the coast was magnificent! We loved seeing a huge rock that was covered with seals. They were barking, sleeping, and swimming.
We arrived in Carmel on Wednesday afternoon on Oct 18th.
After checking in and dropping off our luggage at our hotel, we drove back to Monterey for a visit to McDonald’s restaurant, so Heather could have food she can eat without causing esophageal spasms.
We didn’t know we were invited to all the parties so we didn’t feel any pressure to look at the schedule or attend any of the many scheduled events.
After settling in our hotel room, Logan and I took an evening drive back to Monterey to get groceries, while Heather did her lung therapy. We returned late and we were all in bed by 11:30 pm.
Radio Interview About Logan’s Syndrome Documentary
Thursday morning, we awoke to a beautiful sunny day. Nathan picked Logan up for a radio interview. Heather and I wanted to go along, but because the radio booth was very small, Nathan discouraged us from going.
We decided to do a little sightseeing around our hotel instead.
Heather and I walked down the street to check out a small store with a deli and to find restaurants close to our hotel. We took some fun photos of Heather in front of beautiful flowers and scenery.
We saw a sign for the Carmel Film Festival and took a photo of Heather standing in front of it as a souvenir.
Little did we know that this sign was directing people to the restaurant right across the street from our hotel where most of the event’s parties would be held!
Logan came back after his interview wearing an entry tag around his neck which was our ticket into to the main events of the festival.
At that point, we didn’t know we were invited to all the events, so we drove to Monterey to do some sightseeing and get some lunch.
Fisherman’s Wharf Celebration Before the Carmel Film Festival
We walked on Fisherman’s Wharf and had a wonderful lunch at the pier around 3:00 pm.
We got the best table in the house, surrounded by windows on the sea, where we watched a seal, an otter, pelicans, fish, other sea life and the beautiful scenery.
After arriving in Carmel, we realized we had all forgotten to bring our disabled parking pass. Parking in Carmel was challenging, especially with a big car.
Appreciating Friend’s Help
Jessica, Logan’s former girlfriend, was coming to Carmel the following morning. She and Heather’s live-in-aide managed to get together to pass along the parking pass for Jessica to bring to us.
We drove to Jessica’s hotel to pick up the pass and had a wonderful reunion! Although Jessica lives in SLC, we hadn’t gotten together for a long time. We were all excited to see each other!
The day was getting late after our visit. Heather and Logan wanted to see the ocean again. We drove to the nearest beach and arrived just before sunset.
The air was brisk and smelled of the sea, the sky was dancing with clouds and faint rays of the setting sun.
Although it was a cloudy evening, the views were spectacular and Heather and Logan loved being on the beach at the edge of the ocean.
When we arrived back at our hotel room around 7 pm, Heather needed to do her lung therapy and none of us were ready to order dinner to be delivered. We weren’t hungry yet, so we waited to order room delivery.
I took a much-needed nap, waking 45 minutes later. We called the room delivery service at 8:50 pm. They told us their service closed early because they were 2 hours behind.
Logan was wearing his pajama bottoms and hat, and I was wearing casual clothes. With sleepy eyes, tousled hair, and no makeup, we left Heather to do her lung therapy. We walked across the street to a restaurant where we hoped to find clam chowder to bring back for an easy, late dinner.
Carmel Film Festival Parties at the Forge
Logan and I arrived at the entrance of the restaurant, which was across the street from our hotel. Three women were there greeting guests. There was obviously a party in session. One woman asked me for our “credentials.”
I told her that we were just staying in the hotel across the street and just wanted to order 3 bowls of soup to take back to our hotel. She said the restaurant was closed for a party for the Carmel Film Festival.
I motioned Logan to step forward and said, “This is Logan Madsen, from the film Logan’s Syndrome.” Her eyes grew as wide as plates. She was so excited to meet Logan! She told us we were invited to all of the parties and she wanted us to stay.
It was 9:45 pm, we were tired, and I told her that Heather was in the room doing her lung therapy. She insisted on preparing a plate of appetizers for us to take to our room.
I called Heather and asked her if she wanted to come to meet some people at the party. She said yes, so I went across the street, threw on some different clothes, and put on some mascara.
As we were preparing to return to the party, Logan texted me, saying, “They dragged me into the restaurant and I’m baking in the heat.”
When we arrived, we found Logan and a woman sitting at a table in the restaurant, with two plates of appetizers in front of them.
We sat down tried to have a conversation over the loud party noise. We stayed for an hour.
Meeting New Friends to Celebrate Logan’s Syndrome Documentary
When we got up to leave, I noticed that several people who were sitting at a table next to ours were looking closely at us. I didn’t feel like I could leave without talking to them. I stopped and turned to them saying, “I noticed you seemed interested in us,” and I introduced them to Heather and Logan.
It just so happened that they were supporters of the Carmel Film Festival who came every year to see the films. They told us that they weren’t going to come this year, but when they saw Logan’s Syndrome listed as one of the films, they had to come.
The man is a retired emergency room physician, who now studies and writes books about autism. His wife is an actor, model, singer, and advocate for people with developmental disorders, like autism. They were there just to meet Logan and to see the film! They were thrilled! Everyone took many photos with Logan. Afterwards, we returned to our room, excited and tired.
Logan’s Syndrome Premieres, Today, Oct. 20th, 2017
Friday morning, we slept in, took our time, and then went searching for a restaurant. We parked our car by a small park. We decided to walk up the street to a restaurant we saw that we hoped was serving food at 3 pm because many restaurants were closed at that time.
Heather and I walked ahead, thinking that Logan was behind us. He wasn’t. The restaurant seemed to have disappeared and we couldn’t find it. At the same time we received a text from Logan asking where we were. Together, we walked back to the car, wondering what to do.
We heard a voice from a window on the third floor of a building across the street saying, “Is that Logan Madsen?” We looked up and there was Nathan! What a surprise!
He said there was a good Italian restaurant in the complex there, so he met us and showed us to the restaurant. It was beautiful, quiet, and had great food; perfect for our last supper before our big event! Heather had pizza, Logan had pasta, and I had salmon. We were so excited!
After lunch, we went back to our hotel to change our clothes for our big event, the World Premiere of Logan’s Syndrome. We had three family members visiting from LA, so we all piled into our car and drove to the Sunset Theater, four blocks away.
Carmel Film Festival Welcomes Us on the Red Carpet at the Sunset Center
We walked into the reception area and were greeted by our welcome committee, cameras, and the famous red carpet!
The event hosts asked us to pose on the red carpet for a photo shoot with the producers and other people wanting their photos taken with us. We had a GREAT time!
Our hosts lead us into the theater to choose our seats. The theater was beautiful! We picked seats that were centered, so we could view the film straight ahead without looking up or down.
People started coming into the event. We couldn’t count all the people. We estimate there were 100-150 people.
The film started. We enjoyed watching Logan’s Syndrome on a huge screen!
Logan’s Syndrome Premiere
There were moments of laughter and some of dead silence as the film moved from scene to scene. Afterwards, a co-founder of the Carmel Film Festival asked the producers and us to come onto the stage for questions and answers.
After Nathan, Heather, Logan, and I answered a few questions, someone asked me, “You must have had some very hard times going through all you went through while raising Heather and Logan. How did you do it?”
My answer ended on the same theme as the movie, “Life has both positive and negative experiences. You have a choice to focus on either one. I choose to focus on the positive and taught Heather and Logan to do the same. We find joy by focusing on the positive.
After the premiere, we all drove back to the hotel and put down our stuff. We walked across the street and joined a party to celebrate.
Logan’s Syndrome’s Audience Responds
While at the party we received feedback from people who watched Logan’s Syndrome. Following are some of the comments we received:
Comments from a table of young adult men in their late teens and early 20’s, “We gained a new appreciation for our mothers and what it took for them to raise us.”
One of them texted their mother right after the film to thank her for raising him and that he loves her. Another one was going to call his mother the next day to tell her how much he appreciates her.
Anything is Possible
One actor in his 60’s told us he was able to attend at the last minute when his director said he could leave his rehearsal early. He remembered that Logan’s Syndrome was playing and arrived just in time to see the film. He said needed to hear this message,
You never know what is around the corner. Anything is possible! ~Debbie Jorde
The man said, “Seeing this film changed my life!”
Other comments Logan’s Syndrome viewers said were,
“Painful, and beautiful.”
“Unlike any documentary I’ve ever seen.”
“The movie pulled me in from the start and never let me go.”
“I left my world for its duration and entered Logan’s world, Heather’s world, and your world.”
“It spoke the truth because all of you were willing to be so candid, honest, and revealing.”
“The impact you have made is profound.” “Even though I’m healthy, I could relate to all of you because we all have challenges and they’re hard.”
Logan’s Syndrome Post Premiere Celebrations
After the party, we said thank you to our hosts and said good-bye to the guests. We walked across the street and returned to our hotel room. We had fun talking about the evening before drifting off to sleep.
Saturday morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at a nearby restaurant with our family. That night we went to a Carmel Film Festival beach party celebration with Jessica, Logan’s former girlfriend, and her husband. Afterwards, we all went to a wonderful dinner on the pier in Monterey at Fishermans’ Wharf.
Sunday morning, Heather reminded me that we needed to get packed so we could make a quick visit to the famous aquarium in Monterey before checking out. We had completely forgotten that there could be an award for the film.
Logan’s Syndrome’s Winning Announcement
Heather writes about how and when we heard that Logan’s Syndrome received Best feature documentary:
I knew there were awards given at this festival, but I didn’t know when they were announced. I looked at some of the trailers of the other documentaries and thought that they had a higher chance of winning the award, so I didn’t anticipate winning.
After a very busy week attending Logan’s movie, going to parties, visiting with our aunt and cousins and Logan’s ex-girlfriend and her husband, who all came to support us, and sightseeing in Carmel, I forgot about the awards.
Mom and I woke up Sunday morning and began packing to go home. We packed quickly, so we could spend more time at the Monterey Bay aquarium before heading home. It was getting later and later, so we knew we wouldn’t have much time for the aquarium. Nathan Meier, the director of Logan’s Syndrome, texted us asking if he would see us at the party across from our hotel at 10 am. All three of us decided not to go.
The aquarium charges $50 per person, but so many people had told us we needed to go that I felt like we couldn’t miss the opportunity, even though we couldn’t stay long. Logan stayed behind at the hotel, sleeping and in pain from standing at a party the night before.
Logan’s Syndrome Won Best Premiere Documentary
My mom and I started driving to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Halfway there, Nathan texted us saying, “We won!!!!” We were quite surprised, in shock, and happy!
It turned out that the party we declined to go to was the Awards breakfast. We had no idea. So the three of us were not there. None of us had checked the festival schedule and we thought it was just another party that we were too tired to attend.
Personally, I think it was nice to be surprised this way, rather than to sit at the table feeling all anxious, heh. We determined that the award had already been given and that the party would end soon, so we continued to the aquarium.
When we got there, we told the ticket taker that we only had 20 minutes. He thought for a second and then said, “I’m not going to charge you since you only have 20 minutes.” He let us in free! We saved $100! We were beside ourselves with joy and surprise, again.
Pay it Forward
After the visiting aquarium, we were late for our check out at the hotel. We had already gotten an hour later check out and now we were late for that, too. The hotel manager was desperate to clean our room because they only had one housekeeper. They both came in and started cleaning while we took our luggage to the car.
Mom gave the housekeeper $20 as a thank you. Then we decided that because we were going to spend the $100 anyway, we would pay it forward. We had previously learned that the manager only had two days off a month and worked ten hour days, so we gave her the $100 bill.
She shook her head and said no, trying to give it back. We insisted. Her eyes filled with tears and her hands went to her heart as she said, “Thank you.” We told her our film won and she jumped with joy! We were all so happy!
On our drive back to San Jose for our flight back to SLC, we drove along the famous 17-mile drive. Our Delta team was waiting on the curb to help us with our luggage and navigate to the gate for our flight home.
This event is a milestone for all of us, but especially for Logan. The joy we see on his face says it all!
Visit Logan’s Website: https://www.loganmadsenfineart.com/
Learn more about Logan’s Syndrome Documentary
View the trailer