The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano

A photographer with a fatalistic fixation stages all the ways he could die

2015 | Running Time: 28 minutes | Rating: NR

After his mother dies abruptly of an aneurysm and Phil Toledano becomes the sole caretaker of his father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, the photographer, husband, and father becomes obsessed with his mortality and his future. Using DNA tests, fortune tellers, and a prosthetic makeup artist, he begins photographing the many dark possibilities that might await him — despite his wife’s pleas to abandon the project. Over the course of three years, Toledano becomes dozens of characters and captures bleak realities in a series of haunting photographs. Will his fatalist fixation help him find peace and healing or will it forever change him and his family, leaving them unable to imagine a positive future? The short documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released online through the New York Times Op Docs series. Director/Producer: Joshua Seftel; Producer: Jill Landaker Grunes; Executive Producers: Geralyn White Dreyfous, Kathleen Lingo, Regina K. Scully, Morgan Spurlock, Steve Tisch

Tribeca Film Festival 2015: Best Documentary Short (nomination)
Montclair Film Festival 2015: Short Film
Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2015: Sheffield Short Doc Award (nomination)
Annapolis Film Festival 2016: Best Short
BendFilm Festival 2015: Best Documentary
Little Rock Film Festival 2015: Best World Shorts Documentary
Camerimage 2015: Short Documentary Films Competition (nomination)

“The documentation is astounding and the story of his project is told in brutally honest and touching detail as Toledano confronts his biggest fears in a way that is so uniquely original, it leaves the viewer transfixed at his metamorphosis.”