Rina Goldberg, daughter of Stacy and Ari Goldberg, was 15 when she died in December 2010 of Mitochondrial Disease, an incurable illness in which cells generate less and less energy, eventually causing the failure of whole systems.
Rina began writing the script about a year before her death, an effort to distract herself from difficult medical challenges - but also as a way to spread her philosophy: Love one another. Make each day count. And dream big.
"She would have loved the fact that her vision of 'Dream Big' was happening," Stacy said, "and she would have loved the fact that it would have inspired other kids who are sick to not let their illness define them."
Among Rina's last words to her mother were, "Promise you'll take care of my film."
The benefit will feature Marc Summers, host of the Food Network's Unwrapped and executive producer of Dinner: Impossible, who will serve as master of ceremonies. Also included will be an appearance by noted percussionist Leonard "Doc" Gibbs, and a video message from Diablo Cody, the Academy Award winning writer of Juno, who is adapting Rina's work into a short film.
The evening will generate buzz and energy for the making of the film, as well as raise awareness of Mitochondrial Disease.
The film will cost about $45,000 to make. Some funding will come from major Los Angeles film companies that typically make donations to these projects.
Filming is scheduled to start in Los Angeles at the end of March, featuring actress Bailee Madison, whose credits include Bridge to Terabithia, and Just Go With It. A Hollywood premiere is set for June.
MAFF grants film wishes to children with serious or life-threatening conditions, helping them create films with support from noted actors, directors and writers. MAFF's most recent film, Deep Blue Breath, is based on the true experiences of Clayton Beabout, a Kansas boy who endured more than 40 surgeries as a result of a rare, life-threatening disorder. That movie has been screened at 25 festivals nationwide and won many awards.
Contact staff writer Jeff Gammage at 215-854-2415, email@example.com, or on Twitter @JeffGammage.