JD Disalvatore faces cancer battle

Fans raise funds for uninsured producer.

by Jennie Kermode

Contrary to popular belief, making movies doesn't always mean getting rich. Many filmmakers are freelancers and in the US, where most people rely on their employers for health insurance, that can be particularly tough. Diagnosed with breast cancer, JD Disalvatore faces a financial as well as a physical struggle. Fortunately her fans have rallied round to help.

Disalvatore is best known in the UK for festival hit A Marine Story (the story of a soldier, discharged for being a lesbian, who takes on the training of a troubled teenager) but she has also won acclaim for gentle romance Shelter. She has worked as festival director of Outfest in Los Angeles and is widely admired for her short film work. Having famously claimed that she knew she wanted to make films as soon as she was old enough to talk, Disalvatore has also been instrumental in advancing the careers of others.

With lumps in both breasts as well as elsewhere in her body, Disalvatore faces extensive surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy, during which she will not be able to work. If you would like to contribute to the cost of her treatment, you can do so here.

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