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ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.

This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ("Don’t Worry, Be Happy").

An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, ALIVE INSIDE's inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.


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The Filmmakers

Michael Rossato-Bennett Director

Michael Rossato-Bennett is the founder and executive producer of Projector Media, a documentary production company dedicated to inspiring conversations that interrogate issues related to our cultural consciousness. ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY is Rossato-Bennett's first feature-length offering. Projector Media has several documentaries in various stages of production in addition to Alive Inside. Each of those projects is inspired by Rossato-Bennett's dedication to the collective well-being of society.


December 31, 1969

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Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival 2014

Winner - Audience Award, U.S. Documentary Competition

Boulder Film Festival 2014

Winner - Special Award

Berkshires Film Festival 2014

Winner - Audience Award


Gloriously inspirational...A magical, non-medical story of healing.”

-The Hollywood Reporter

An affecting look at a growing therapeutic cause.”


It’s as transformative as the music itself.”


ALIVE INSIDE has been able to touch many hearts and in the process, change the world for many elders. This is not enough, the questions the film raises still remain- How were so many of our elders forgotten and can we return their connection to life?

To answer these questions and inspire action the film team has created The Alive Inside Foundation Outreach Campaign. Music has much to teach. They are creating educational materials, "Memory Detective" technology and community outreach programs, all aimed at inspiring a generation of young people, who love music and computers, to bring elders their forgotten music. They are bringing this giving challenge to schools, universities, and places of worship.

Outreach Resources

Alive Inside Foundation

The Alive Inside Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to expanding human connection and cultivating empathy through the power of music and film. We inspire and empower meaningful, shared experiences that bring the generations together, awaken memories and spark aliveness. 


Music and Memory

MUSIC & MEMORYâ„  is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.



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