“Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope,” a 12-minute documentary narrated by the Oscar-nominated actress Mary McDonnell, will screen along with other short films at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at the Ballston Spa Film Festival.
The movie was directed by Ballston Spa filmmaker Daniel DeFabio, whose 6-year-old son, Lucas, has the disease.
A rare and fatal genetic disorder that affects young children, Menkes disease is also known as copper transport disease — the body fails to metabolize it — and kinky hair syndrome, a reference to patients’ brittle, wiry hair. Boys are affected more than girls, and most typically live three to 10 years unless diagnosed and treated shortly after birth.
The Ballston Spa Film Festival runs Aug. 7-8 and features screenings at two venues each night: 7 p.m. at Ballston Spa High School on 220 Ballston Ave.; and 9 p.m. outdoors at the Old Iron Spring Park near the Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton St. Admission is free.
For more information, see bspafilm.org.
McDonnell is best known for her roles in “Battlestar Galactica” and “Dances with Wolves,” which earned her an Oscar nod.