Impact Spotlight: “Denali” by Ben Moon
‘Denali’ film honors beloved dog who helped man rally to beat cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, Nearly 1 out of 3 people in the United States will have cancer during their lifetimes, and today’s brilliant Impact Spotlight Premiere — “Denali” by Ben Knight, Ben Moon and Skip Armstrong — celebrates the human-dog bond and illuminates the incredible resilience we can conjure with the help of our little friends.
In the film, we can tell Ben Moon and Denali were inseparable. We watch their bond was strengthen when doctors diagnosed Moon with colorectal cancer. Despite physical weakness and emotional lows he endured in the year that followed, Moon was buoyed by Denali’s loyalty and affection, thanks to nurses that allowed the dog to be by his side during the recovery process.
In January of 2014, just days before Denali passed on Skip Armstrong, of Wazee Motion, and Page Stephenson spent a month documenting his last days with Ben. Moon said he asked Denali to stay healthy and happy for one more month to pull off the cinematic tribute. “That’s when I promised him, ‘Just let me know when it’s your time to go, man; I’m not going to let you suffer,'” Moon recalled. “It felt like this grand reciprocation, because he had been with me while I had gone through cancer.”
At the end of the film he talks about this quote: “People can learn a lot from dogs. When someone you love walks through the door (even if it happens 5 times a day) you should go totally insane with joy.” Not only does it bring the film full circle but it makes you stop and think about how you are approaching everyone and everything in life.
Based on the themes in this short film we’ve paired it with The American Cancer Society for impact. If this story touched you in any way here is a way that you can channel that energy into something good:
In order of appearance: Ben Moon & Denali
Producer: Ben Moon // Moonhouse
Directed / edited / written: Ben Knight // Felt Soul Media
DP: Skip Armstrong // Wazee Motion Pictures
Second Camera: Page Stephenson
Co-Writer: Katie Klingsporn
Wet Camera: Justin Harris
Sound Recordist: Jim Hurst
Music Supervisor: Ben Knight and Ian Anderson
Sound Mix: Justin Harris
Narrated by: Ben Knight
Still Photographs by: Ben Moon, Lisa Hensel, Carli Davidson, Miranda Moon, Vivian Moon, Jean Redle Dawn Kish, Lisa Skaff, Pete Rudge, Kristen & Ian Yurdin, and John Sterling