DeWitt native Steve Stockman will be back in town in less than two weeks. The writer/director/producer who now lives in L.A. is teaming up with Hospice of Central New York to honor his mother during the not-for-profit organization's third annual fundraiser, "Celebrating Life through Chocolate" -- an afternoon event that delights its patrons with wine, chocolate, film and friends.
Stockman's mother Anita was a Hospice patient in Wilmington, N.C. She suffered from terminal cancer and died in the late 1990s. Since 2000, Hospice has annually awarded a local physician in her name with the Anita Award.
"[Anita's friends] wanted to honor her in some type of way and that's how the Anita Award began," said Anna Wiegand, communications assistant, Hospice of CNY. The local chapter is the sole supporter.
Anita's first-born son will not only present the honor to a deserving doctor, but also stay for a private screening of his movie "Two Weeks," based on his mother's last days. Two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field plays his mom in the comedy/drama.
"We were blessed with a number of very strong candidates for this role, a bunch of whom had Oscars," Stockman said.
Stockman describes the movie as loosely based on his family's life, taking "many, many liberties at times."
"Sally's not really playing my mother, she's playing the character in the script, who is also not my mother," he said. "Life doesn't fall out like a movie script, unfortunately, so I do want to take pains to point out that this is a fictionalized version of what happened to me."
Stockman admits some scenes are factual.
"I would say some of the things in the script
are absolutely true, some of them are things I wish had happened, and some are completely false."
"The movie took me about six months to write," Stockman said, after he found old notes he wrote while his mother was dying in 1997. It wasn't until he finished one script and was looking for something else to write that he stumbled across the handwritten memories.