A Concord boy's amazing story goes national
Samuel Habib of Concord is an adorable eight-year-old. Starting this fall, the entire country will know it. Local filmmaker (and proud dad) Dan Habib’s movie “Including Samuel” is being broadcast on public television stations from coast to coast.
With the warmth of a candid home movie, “Including Samuel” captures how the family has fought to ensure that Samuel’s cerebral palsy will not curb his right to be included in all possible aspects of everyday life, says Habib. But it goes way beyond one boy. “My wife Betsy and I set out to advocate for Samuel and found that everyone deserves that kind of diligent advocacy.”
According to Habib, “Including Samuel” wouldn’t have been made without the initial backing of the Charitable Foundation. An award-winning photo editor of the Concord Monitor, Habib came to the Foundation with little experience in filmmaking.
But his ideas, commitment, and enthusiasm convinced staff to support the project. The Endowment for Health was another early funder. And now, national underwriters have taken up the cause. The film has received countless accolades and has aired nationally on PBS.
The Next Step
Habib is now filmmaker in residence at the Institute on Disability at UNH. He has also begun his second film, this one on creating “caring communities within schools” for children with learning difficulties, such as autism.
The Foundation is again one of the first investors. “Its support provides the credibility and legitimacy that other funders require before they will commit to the project,” Habib said.
“I started out to ensure that Samuel would be accepted in his community. Now we can’t walk down the street without being recognized.”
Rick Schwartz is a freelance writer from Sharon, Mass.