A new English-language comedy being produced in Estonia, ‘The Chuck Band Show’, will be released in cinemas this November, which is Men's Health Month. The film is about Chuck Berger, a radio DJ in his 40s whose life suddenly goes wrong when he finds himself on the brink of losing both his job and his wife and is diagnosed with testicular cancer. He decides not to let it get him down and faces all the difficulties in his life with humour.
The film is currently being shot in Tallinn. The film is largely based on a true story: the life of American DJ and comedian Stewart Johnson, who has been living in Estonia for 20 years. He was diagnosed with metastasised testicular cancer. The treatment was draining, and Johnson shared his honest experiences through his blog. He eventually beat the illness.
The Cancer Treatment Foundation is working with the filmmakers to draw attention to men's health.
Firstly, we want all men to know that it is cheaper and easier to treat cancer that is detected early on. On average, 5 or 6 men out of 100,000 are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year, and 70-130 are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is important to get checked regularly, to keep physically active and to eat healthily.
Secondly, ‘The Chuck Band Show’ will help men who are battling a difficult illness. Part of the revenue from the film will be donated to the Cancer Treatment Foundation to give those who need it hope and time to live a fulfilling life.
"Our aim is to generate discussion in society about forms of cancer that affect men by telling Stewart's story," says the film’s producer, Aet Laigu. "So that young men in Estonia who are in one of the main risk groups for testicular cancer will go to their doctor early if they have any problems. We feel that by working with the Cancer Treatment Foundation we can raise awareness of this sensitive yet very important issue and help those who are already fighting a difficult illness."
Johnson himself will be playing the main character, Chuck. Popular Estonian actors Marta Laan, Henry Kõrvits, Janek Joost, Külliki Saldre, Andres Ots, Ingrid Isotamm, Kaili Närep and others will be starring alongside him. The screenwriters are Stewart Johnson and Al Wallcat, the director is Al Wallcat and the film is being produced by Meteoriit OÜ. The film is being made with the help of money raised through Hooandja, supporters and partners.