Slideshow: ‘No Ordinary Campaign’ on Red Carpet at 58th Chicago Intl. Film Fest, Oct. 21, 2022

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Director Christopher Burke of ‘No Ordinary Campaign.’

CHICAGO – One of the most passionate documentaries at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) was “No Ordinary Campaign.” The story of Brian Wallach and wife Sandra Abrevaya, who decided to use their political acumen to make change when Brian was diagnosed with ALS, was to bring the fight to Washington. Among the heavy hitters supporting the film are Executive Producer Katie Couric, Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal (“Somebody Feed Phil”), Illinois member of Congress Mike Quigley (who sponsored their legislation) and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

When Sandra Abrevaya met her future husband Brian Wallach while on the staff of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, their future seemed exceedingly bright. But then Brian was was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and his prognosis was dim. It was time for the couple to use their knowledge to make change.

The films tells that Brian was given just six months to live, which inspired the couple’s expertise to create legislation to help other ALS patients to gain access to new experimental drugs and disability benefits. Brian decided to become a face of the disease, recruiting other patients to become a founder of “I Am ALS.” In the story of Brian and Sandra’s efforts to cut through the red tape of Washington, D.C., the highest level of inspiration, passion and success is the result.

Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for, except for Photo Four © Netflix and Photo Five © Christopher Burke.

  1. CAMPAIGN1: Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya for ‘No Ordinary Campaign.’
  2. CAMPAIGN2: Illinois Senator Dick Durbin on the Red Carpet at 58th CIFF.
  3. CAMPAIGN3: U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (Illinois) sponsored Act for ALS legislation.
  4. CAMPAIGN4: Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal and his Netflix series.
  5. CAMPAIGN5: Director Christopher Burke of ‘No Ordinary Campaign.’

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive interview with Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya by Patrick McDonald of

Patrick McDonald interviews Senator Dick Durbin and Member of Congress Mike Quigley on the Red Carpet for “No Ordinary Campaign” …

Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal and Director Christopher Burke of “No Ordinary Campaign” on the Red Carpet …

The 58th Chicago International Film Festival concluded October 23rd, 2022. Click for highlights, award winners and information about Cinema/Chicago. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor & Film Critic/Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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