Learn more about the winners of this year’s contest, which aims to highlight the stories of people living with migraine
The Annual Migraine Moment Short Film Contest is a joint venture by the American Headache Society (AHS) and the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) that gives people affected by migraine an outlet to share their stories and raise awareness. Like every year, we were blown away by the amazing submissions, ranging from animated short films to compelling biographical shorts.
Our panel of judges is led by AHS Board member Dr. Dawn Buse and includes headache specialists, patients and advocates.
After careful consideration, the judges announced three winning videos as part of the AHS’s Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting.
First Place: Migraine – the invisible illness that alters the lives of millions
The grand prize was awarded to Morgan Fitzgerald for her spoken word-piece, “Migraine – the invisible illness that alters the lives of millions.” Morgan’s video articulates the complex details about migraine and the harsh experiences that people with migraine face on a daily basis. She eloquently expresses her frustration about the current state of migraine care. But she also shares hope for the future of migraine research and improvements in acute and preventative treatments.
“To all those who are struggling today, don’t give up, because better days are on their way,” Morgan says in her video. “Prioritize taking care of you because that’s the most important thing you can do. And remember, migraine may be invisible, but we the patients, we are visible.”
Second Place: My Migraine Story
“My Migraine Story” by London San Luis is the first runner-up. London is a 15-year-old artist who shares how migraine affected her artistic process and daily life as a student. She explains that she has not let her diagnosis of migraine with aura become a hindrance and instead uses it as an influence for her paintings and drawings.
“I’ve learned when to listen to my body and when to rest to give myself a break,” London says in her video. “I appreciate what I have and my health much more. Migraine has taught me that I can persevere. That I am stronger now than I thought I was when I was younger. “
Third Place: Dear Migraines
“Dear Migraines” by Brendan Born is the second runner-up. Brendan’s short film is about his turbulent relationship with migraine, how he drastically reduced migraine frequency and how dealing with migraine has helped him live a healthier lifestyle.
“Migraine, for all that you’ve taken away from me, you’ve given me so much more. What I wasn’t able to realize at the time is that you would become my greatest teacher,” Brendan says in his video.
“I was blind to the fact that through all of the trials and tribulations you gave me that they would only make me more resilient, that they would only put me on a path towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. It’s so interesting how something that has caused so much pain in my life has become one of my greatest blessings.”
Honorable Mention: “…and the cycle repeats”
Our third runner-up is Willow Van Rootselaar for her short film, “…and the cycle repeats,” which vividly depicts a never-ending cycle of hardships that people with migraine may experience on a daily basis.
“My brain feels fuzzy and I can’t think straight. A million thoughts are racing in my head,” Willow says in her video.
“I begin to see dots and lines clouding my vision. As I lie here in pain, Miss Migraine soaks up the sun, not a care in the world…”
Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone for participating in our contest and for sharing your story. We are already looking forward to watching next year’s submissions.
The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.