University of Utah Health is proud to present One in a Million, an original short documentary co-directed by two acclaimed independent filmmakers, Jeremiah Zagar and Ross Kauffman.

The film tells the tale of Tyler who lost his ability to walk, see, and hear by the time he was 10. The cause remained a mystery until U of U Health scientists searched his DNA for clues. What they found led to a discovery that changed the life of one remarkable boy.

Media are invited to film screenings on Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 (details below). Watch the movie teaser at

Last November, two acclaimed filmmakers and award-winning Sundance Institute veterans traveled to Utah to document Tyler’s journey. Filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar directed We the Animals, which premiered at last year’s festival and is now nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. Ross Kauffman is the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker of the documentary Born into Brothels and Tigerland, the latter an official selection in the 2019 Sundance Film festival.

“Hope is always my motivation when taking on a project, whether it be a feature length documentary or a short film,” says Kauffman. “One in a Million is a story that lifts the spirit and creates a space to understand the intricacies of life. It is my pleasure and honor to be part of such a special project.”

One in a Million was co-produced by award-winning documentarian Geralyn Dreyfous, the Kahlert Foundation and University of Utah Health.

The renowned filmmakers were drawn to Tyler’s unwavering spirit and incredible recovery, made possible by a diagnosis from the Penelope Undiagnosed and Rare Disease Clinic at University of Utah Health. The program focuses on tackling some of the most complex medical cases in the country by searching for diagnoses for diseases that have remained unsolved.

The Penelope Program combines the expertise of medical specialists, comprehensive care doctors and molecular geneticists who thoroughly examine each patient, and sequence and analyze their DNA. In this case, the answer led to a treatment that significantly improved Tyler’s quality of life.

The Penelope Program is made possible by a collaboration between University of Utah Health, ARUP Laboratories, the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery, and originated at the Department of Pediatrics at University of Utah Health.

“This remarkable documentary beautifully portrays Tyler and his family’s experience living with disease, and their journey to hope with University of Utah Health,” says Michael L. Good, University of Utah Health. “The film is a proud testament to the heroic, life-changing work that goes on here every day. We are excited to help share these stories with the world.”

Event details:

One in a Million Premiere

Held during a U of U Health Panel hosted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Friday, February 1, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

Filmmakers Lodge, 550 Main St., Park City, Utah

One in a Million Hometown Screening

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

University of Utah

Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:

  • August Teuscher, Tyler’s mother
  • Lorenzo Botto, director of the Penelope Program, University of Utah Health
  • Co-directors Jeremiah Zagar and Ross Kauffman (directors will Skype in on Feb. 8)
  • Heather Kahlert, executive producer and vice president of the Kahlert Foundation

Panelists will be available to talk to the press following each screening.

The film will be available to watch online on Feb. 9, at

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Media Contacts

Julie Kieferassociate director, science communications, University of Utah Health
Office: 801-587-1293

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