Rhode Island PBS to broadcast URI film examining issues surrounding ticks and Lyme disease

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KINGSTON, R.I. – June 9, 2008 — Hidden in the Leaves, a documentary about ticks and Lyme disease that was produced and directed by University of Rhode Island professors, will air on Rhode Island public television station, Channel 36 (Cox 8), four times this month.

Air dates are June 15 at 1:30 p.m., June 18 at 10:30 p.m., June 22 at 11:30 a.m. and June 27 at 7 p.m.

The 24-minute film was directed by Mary Healey Jamiel, an assistant professor of film media at URI who won a Cine Golden Eagle award for investigative journalism and Best Documentary at the 2005 Rhode Island International Film Festival for her film Holy Water-Gate. It was produced by URI entomologist Thomas Mather and follows his team’s efforts to help people see the risks for tick-transmitted disease that lurk in an increasing number of landscapes in the eastern United States.

The film examines the factors that led to the emergence of Lyme disease and related infections and why the impact of tick-transmitted diseases on society continues to expand at an alarming rate. 

More than 717,000 Rhode Islanders are at risk for encountering a deer tick where they live.

Warren singer/songwriter and chronic Lyme disease sufferer Joyce Katzberg is among those highlighted in the film. Katzberg’s testimony underscores the devastating and unpredictable effects of the disease on individuals in our community.

Healey Jamiel traversed Rhode Island from land, sea and air to capture the landscape that has helped ticks to thrive in New England. Healey Jamiel and scientists at URI also captured stunning macro photography of ticks in various stages of their life-cycle. Original music for the film was composed and performed by local musicians Jim and Jackie O’Brien of Illustrious Day.