Flying in the Mist


Toronto filmmaker Joseph Akrami knew he wanted to film Super Chairing Member, and ALS Ontario resident Minna Mettinen when he learned she was the only disabled female in Canada to have her solo skydiving certification, but he did not realize during the filming he would capture defiance and strength in the face of a paralyzing, fatal disease. Minna Mettinen is not dying from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, but living with it and maintains her independence and her love of skydiving despite the paralyzing neuromuscular disease. Mettinen is featured in a new short documentary, Flying in the Mist, which showcases her life living with ALS, a fatal disease. The documentary was created by Article 19 Films and will be screened in Toronto on December 10th (Human Rights day) at the Royal Cinema (608 College St.) at 11:30 a.m.

As the documentary shows, Mettinen continues her love of skydiving.
I am a firm believer in manifesting my own reality,” said Mettinen. “I choose how I decide to perceive my place in life - having said that, I've chosen to live deep moments of pure joy. This does not mean I do not have days when the caverns of despair look bottomless. It means that I seek out experiences that leave me absolutely in love with life, for it is the memories of those moments that I can help myself pull out of those caverns. Without those moments of being exhilarated with life, I may not have found my way through some of those caverns. One such experience comes to me each time I fall out of a plane. As I cannot jump, I literally fall out of the plane directly into an instantaneous feeling of absolute peace. Peace is the word which explains this experience I have when I exit a plane a few kilometers above the ground.”

Due to her loss of speech, Mettinen is only able to communicate through her computer or through writing. Film director Joseph Akrami, who has won numerous awards for his work, said he gave her a camera to tape many scenes for the documentary.

“The process for making this documentary was an absolutely different experience for me,” said Akrami. “When I first met Minna she was not able to speak. She had to use either her computer or write in order to communicate so I gave her a small video camera to film herself and I could see what was happening in her life. It was difficult for me to see how Minna lived. I was also inspired by Minna’s tremendous passion for life.”

Flying in the Mist documents Mettinen’s struggle to live with ALS, as the simplest and most basic daily tasks become feats requiring great ingenuity and courage on her part.
“I feel that a short documentary film is an effective way to focus attention to the daily issues encountered in our lives,” explained Mettinen. “This film portrays the raw day to day challenges as well as the numerous blessings in life that often turn a challenging day into a nourishing one.”

ALS currently affects more than 300 people in Toronto alone. It is ALS Ontario’s mission to provide quality care for those living with ALS. ALS Ontario strives to keep clients comfortable with the equipment and support that they need and require. All money raised at this event will continue to provide services for those living with ALS.
ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of a select group of nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

If you are interested in reserving a seat for the screening or finding out more information please contact:

Kathryn Dunmore
Manager, Communications and Marketing
905-248-2101 x 213