A vulnerable octogenarian is trapped inside his nursing home in Austin, Texas during an endless 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. Determined to stay connected, his daughter transforms his room’s window into a powerful zone for creative care. But when the virus spreads through the facility, disaster strikes. Will Mr Jerry make it through? The moving story of one family’s will to cherish and survive, MR JERRY bears witness to the resilience of elders battling a tumultuous year.
Just before the pandemic outbreak filmmaker Karen Skloss settles her recently diagnosed Alzheimer’s father into a Medicaid accepting facility in Austin, close to her home, little knowing what the future would unleash. Soon she is battling to stay connected to him, with only the window to his facility room for communication. Then disaster strikes when he is diagnosed with the virus and rushed to hospital, fighting for his life.
Pushed to her creative and emotional limit in her effort to care for her father, Karen experiences a remarkable and unexpected shift in their relationship. As pressured and stressful as 2020 proves, it is also a time of incredible growth and joy. MR JERRY is a tender, uplifting story of silver linings amid a dance of ever-increasing adaptation. It centers how crucial care work is performed primarily by women––including the nursing home staff ––and provides a moving testament to the resilience of elders battling through. From the margins of the pandemic to center stage, through a nursing home window, MR JERRY resonates with a sense of triumph and of light overcoming dark––with a strong dose of witchcraft and Catholic mysticism thrown in for good measure.
About the Filmmakers
Karen Skloss, producer, co-director, editor
Karen Skloss’s work has been shown on HBO, in the MOMA, in wide theatrical release and in film festivals internationally. She has worked as an editor for over 20 years on projects including the celebrated documentary, BE HERE TO LOVE ME: THE STORY OF TOWNES VAN ZANDT (dir. Margaret Brown) and the acclaimed dramedy, SUPPORT THE GIRLS (dir. Andrew Bujalski) which was listed as a top movie pick by former president Barack Obama. Karen is currently producing and editing a documentary feature about Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and has edited numerous other documentary and narrative features, as well as shows for Jerry Bruckheimer Television, A&E, Discovery, TLC and TNT.
Karen began her career as a child actor. Her narrative directorial debut, THE HONOR FARM, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2017. SUNSHINE, her first documentary feature as director, was nationally broadcast on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning series, Independent Lens. She is also a drummer and was a founding member of the band Moving Panoramas.
Sandy Carson, co-director, cinematographer
Sandy Carson is a Scottish photographer, cinematographer, cyclist and musician, who moved to the United States in 1993 to pursue a career as a bike rider after college and having toured in bands. He then enjoyed a 15 year career traveling the world professionally as a sponsored BMX rider, where he honed his skills as a photographer. His photography and cinematography practice is a balance of commercial editorial reportage and long-term personal projects, a section of which is represented by INSTITUTE.
Carson’s work is published and exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Four monographs of his work have been published thus far. His latest book ‘PASSING PLACE’ -an intimate portrait of his mother and of the Scottish village he grew up was released in November of 2020 by Yoffy Press. A fifth book is in the works with Aint-Bad publishing. His accolades include 4 times Best Art Photographer in the Austin Chronicle critics awards and top 10 in the prestigious Pilkington Prize in 2015.