The Film

Click the arrow above to watch the theatrical trailer for “The Power Of Two!”

Film Synopsis

A story of twin sisters, two cultures, and two new chances at life.

Ana & Isa Swimming

Inspired by their 2007 memoir, “The Power Of Two” offers an intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, their battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF) and miraculous survival through double lung transplants. Defying all odds, Ana and Isa have emerged as authors, athletes and global advocates for organ donation, and their connection to the CF and transplant communities provides rare insight into the struggles — and overlooked joys — of chronic illness.

The twins’ receiving new lungs would have been unlikely in their mother’s native country, Japan, where organ donation rates are strikingly low. At the crux of a rising movement to change laws and stigmas, Ana and Isa embark on a tour of Japan to inspire change in the hearts and minds of a culture resistant to transplantation.

Director/Producer, Marc Smolowitz on set w/his Director of Photography, Nickolas Rossi

Featuring archival footage and probing expert interviews, this poignant directorial debut of Academy Award nominated producer Marc Smolowitz (“The Weather Underground”) presents a multi-faceted portrayal of a society at a tipping point around this triumph of modern medicine. Back in the U.S., the twins thrive, rejoicing in their ability to breathe with healthy lungs, sharing their story, mentoring others on the same path, and experiencing unexpected life milestones.

Evocative without being sentimental, “The Power Of Two” reveals the twins not as heroines but as authentic women who share our fears about mortality and inspire us to make a difference.

Film Background

“The Power Of Two” is a multimedia project, centered around the documentary film of the same name, that uses powerful, personal storytelling to engage communities in critical discussions and inspires action around organ donation and transplantation, and awareness of cystic fibrosis (CF) and other chronic illnesses.

Recent statistics show that 110,000 Americans currently need life saving organ transplants and an average of 18 men, women and children die daily waiting for an organ. While the number of organ donors in the U.S. is increasing overall, only 37% of Americans 18 and over are registered donors, and the opt-in rate for organ donation in the 18-25 age group has markedly decreased since 2004. There are many public misconceptions about organ donation, and the “The Power Of Two” can be used as a valuable conversation starter for a topic that is often not discussed and widely misunderstood.

Additionally, “The Power Of Two” illuminates the need for advancements in the search for a cure for CF, as well as the role of patient and public health advocacy in effecting change and improving care. The film also shows the U.S. health care system at its most promising, a timely perspective for the robust ongoing public discussion around health care.

The project will engage both general and targeted audiences such as the transplant and CF communities and the medical/health care community around the world, as well as the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, providing sponsors and nonprofit community partners the tools to educate, enlighten and entertain.

Featured Interviewees, Events and Locations

Dr. Bruce Reitz, performed the 1st heart/lung transplant in 1981

Interviewees featured in the film include:

* Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. – Director, National Institutes of Health

* Tomoaki Kato, M.D. – Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

* Shaf Keshavjee, M.D. – Surgeon-in-Chief, Program Medical Director Surgical Services and Critical Care, University Health Network (Toronto)

* Howard Koh, M.D. – Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

* Taro Kono – Member, House of Representatives, Diet (Japanese Parliament)

* Kazutomo Minami, M.D. – Director, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine

* Bruce Reitz, M.D. (Pictured above) – Norman E. Shumway Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine (performed Stenzel twins’ transplants)

* Satoshi Teraoka, M.D. – Chairman, Japan Society of Transplantation & Professor, Tokyo Women’s Medical University Kidney Surgery Department

* David Weill, M.D. – Director, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center & Medical Director, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program, Stanford University

Green Ribbon Running Festival, Tokyo, Japan

The film features footage from dozens of locations and events, including

* National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games

* Japan Transplant Games

* Green Ribbon Running Festival (Pictured here)

* Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides walk, San Francisco

* U.S. Capitol

* National Donor Memorial, Richmond, Virginia

* Rose Parade

Click here for a list of upcoming screenings