Forgetting Dad

Director: Rick Minnich, Matt Sweetwood
Running time: 84' - Germany, 2008

Director’s Bio

Rick Minnich was born in Pomona, California in 1968 and grew up in Kansas, Arizona and California. After graduating with a B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University in 1990, he moved to Berlin, where he studied directing at the Film and Television Academy “Konrad Wolf.” His graduation film Heaven on Earth won the 2001 Babelsberg Media Prize for best documentary graduation film in Germany, and in 2002 it took the FIPA d’Or in Biarritz and numerous other prizes in the United States and Europe.

Matt Sweetwood was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1971. He currently lives in Potsdam, Germany. Sweetwood studied film at the California State University San Diego. He has broad experience as a script writer and director in both the United States and Germany. His scripts include The Jewish Santa Claus (Edgar Reitz Filmproduktion, Germany) and The Stroke (Flying Moon Filmproduktion, Germany).

Contact Director
Rick Minnich
Rhinower Str. 8
10437 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 4733013
Fax: +49 30 4733013


Rick Minnich
1997 Good Guys & Bad Guys
2001 Heaven on Earth
2005 Homemade Hillbilly Jam
2008 Forgetting Dad

Matt Sweetwood
2004 Liberty at War
2004 The Story of Liberty 
2005 Desert Dreamers 
2005 Homemade Hillbilly Jam
2008 Forgetting Dad


2008 IDFA (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Special Jury Award
2009 International Film Festival (Goteborg, Sweden)
2009 Film Festival “Max Ophüls Preis” (Saarbrücken, Germany)
2009 “It’s all True” Film Festival (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
2009 Belfast Film Festival (Northern Ireland)
2009 Achtung Berlin (Germany) New Berlin Film Award & Honorable Mention prize
2009 Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada)
2009 Planet Doc Review (Warsaw, Poland)
2009 Doc Aviv (Tel Aviv, Israel)
2009 Doxa (Vancouver, Canada)
2009 Guth Gafa (Ireland)
2009 Stranger Than Fiction (Dublin, Ireland)
2009 Full Frame (USA)
2009 True/False (USA)

Directors: Rick Minnich, Matt Sweetwood  
Writers: Rick Minnich, Matt Sweetwood  
Editors: Rick Minnich, Matt Sweetwood  
Production: Hoferichter & Jacobs GmbH in co-production with ZDF  
Photography: Axel Schneppat  

Sound Design: Raimund von Scheibner


About the film
One week after a seemingly harmless car accident, a 45-year-old man suffers total amnesia. Christening himself the “New Richard,” he embarks upon a new life with a new wife far away from his family. Sixteen years later, his oldest son returns with a camera to investigate why his father’s memory never returned.

World sales

Jan Rofekamp
Films Transit International Inc.
252 Gouin Boulevard East
Montréal Quebec H3L 1A8
Tel: +1 514 844 3358
Fax: +1 514 844 7298

Director’s Statement

I didn’t want Forgetting Dad to be an exercise in navel gazing like so many personal films are. I was striving for a more universal level, something that would interest viewers outside my own family. What does the loss of a close family member mean? What is the significance of loss in its broadest sense? These days you hear more and more about Alzheimer's and dementia. I have several friends whose parents are suffering from these illnesses. They haven’t suddenly lost their memory like my father did, but it’s slowly fading away. One day these friends are going to be confronted with the fact that their parents no longer recognize them. This theme is going to become increasingly important in the near future as people live longer and longer due to advancements in health care. But what is the value of a long life once memories have vanished? How are we going to deal with the challenges widespread memory loss pose to future generations?