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Ben Achtenberg,
Fanlight's founder, received an Academy Award nomination for Code Gray: Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing, possibly the only nursing film ever so honored. Ben's other award-winning documentaries have focused on such topics as parenting, homelessness, disabilities, aging, and healthcare ethics. He currently serves as Treasurer and Program Committee member of the Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund for Mental Health & Human Rights, and is the Director of The Refuge Media Project which is producing a documentary, Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture on the healthcare and social service needs of refugee torture survivors living in the United States.

In 2002, The Independent, the magazine of the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers (AIVF) interviewed Fanlight's president Ben Achtenberg about the company's philosophy and goals. To read the interview click here.

To view a brief version of Ben Achtenberg's professional resume, click here.

Academy Award Nomination
CINE Golden Eagle
Freddie, International Health & Medical Media Awards
First Place, San Francisco International Film Festival
Silver Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival
Silver Award, Houston International Film Festival
Gold Medal, National Health Information Awards
Special Jury Award, New York Expo of Short Film
American Medical Writers Association
American Journal of Nursing

New Relations

Most of the programs below have links to more extensive descriptions (as well as purchasing information) on the Fanlight website.

New Relations: A Film About Fathers and Sons In this personal documentary, the filmmaker explores the costs and rewards of becoming a full-time parent. With his own father, he reflects on changes in fathering styles between the two generations.

Code Gray

Code Gray: Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing Academy Award nominee for Best Short Documentary. This groundbreaking documentary explores four open-ended cases in which nurses confront serious ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day work. It offers no easy answers.

Incident Report Designed for staff training to prevent patient abuse, this program dramatizes an incident in which an elderly nursing home resident and her nurse are both injured. Confronts many of the daily stresses which can affect patient care.

Adaptive Design: Making it Better In an innovative program, specialists using "do it yourself" methods and materials, modify commercially available equipment to better meet the needs of children with disabilities.

A Perspective of Hope

A Perspective of Hope Produced for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this film highlights a unique program linking schools of nursing with nursing homes to improve student training, as well as the day-to-day care of residents.

Finding Your Way Adult and adolescent patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center learn simple behavioral techniques which help them reduce their anxiety and cope with the pain of cancer treatment.

Nursing Shortage/Level Three: Reports from the Frontlines Exploring the realities of contemporary nursing, this independent film demonstrates the growing risk to patients and families as budget pressures lead hospitals to cut back their nursing staffs.

Healthcare for the Homeless

Healthcare for the Homeless: You Can Never Give Up This documentary examines the healthcare needs of homeless individuals and families, and looks at several innovative programs healthcare workers have created to meet the needs of people living on the streets.

Taking Good Care: Inside a Children's Hospital The daily life of a pediatric hospital is seen through the stories of three children and the many staff members who care for them.

No Time to Waste Three different hospitals demonstrate innovative approaches their staff have developed for minimizing solid waste, and for saving money at the same time.

The Support Project Documenting a major study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this short documentary profiles a provocative effort to improve end-of-life care in hospitals through encouraging better patient, family, and physician communication.

Not on the Sidelines

Psychiatric Nursing: Profiles in Compassion This program profiles several dedicated psychiatric nurses, and the vital work they do in community mental healthcare, in home health, and in the hospital.

Not on the Sidelines: Living and Playing with a Disability This independent documentary profiles four ordinary people whose lives were suddenly changed by injury or illness when they were teens or young adults. Challenging their disabilities, they have created new, active, and rewarding lives.

Caring at the End of Life

Caring at the End of Life Based on six case studies of seriously ill hospitalized patients, this moving film focuses on the key roles of nursing staff in improving patient-clinician communication in end-of-life care.

Stanley This disturbing case study raises complex issues about medical prognosis and religious belief in end-of-life decision-making. Part of the Caring at the End of Life series.


Discussing Advance Directives A nursing team and physician meet to discuss the difficulties they encounter in working with patients on advance directives. Part of the Caring at the End of Life series.

Everyday Choices Through the story of one young visiting nurse and her elderly patient, Gerardo, this challenging documentary explores personal, professional, and ethical dilemmas faced by nurses working in home care and community settings.