73-year-old Harvard neurologist turned director to screen first film about dementia

A 73-year-old Harvard neurologist is channeling his love for medicine onto film with the screening of his first feature film, "Abe & Phil's Last Poker Game," Jan. 28, according to the telegram.com.

Howard Weiner, MD, the Robert L. Kroc professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both in Boston, wrote and directed the film, which was shot in Newburyport, Mass., in 2015. After spending a year in post-production, it debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year.

The film is centered around the life of physician Abe Mandelbaum, played by actor Martin Landau, who is forced to move into a nursing home after his wife is diagnosed with late-stage dementia. The film was Mr. Landau's final acting role prior to his death last year.

Dr. Weiner said being a physician has greatly influenced him and helped him become a stronger director.

"As a director you have to make all these decisions. We have that happen all the time as a doctor," Dr. Weiner told telegram.com. "In art and film you're looking for themes and certain truths, and that's something that translates into science."

Dr. Weiner said he's been working on two film scripts and hopes they will also eventually be turned into feature films, the report states. However, he said his directorial ambitions will not stop him from advancing in his medical career.

"Never. It's very clear I would not give up medicine," he said.

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