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Film Poster for "That Bites! A Documentary about the Fears and Frustrations of Food Allergies"

"That Bites! A Documentary about the Fears and Frustrations of Food Allergies," was produced and directed by 13-year-old Jack Yonover.

I've written previous columns about Scott Yonover, a 1982 graduate of Munster High School and 1986 graduate of Indiana University. He is a lawyer who grew up in the region and even worked as a newspaper carrier for The Times during his youth.

Today, Scott keeps busy in his profession, including representing some very famous entertainment names, including actress Sally Kellerman.

It seems his talent for connections to entertainment runs in the family.

His 13-year-old nephew, Jack Yonover, has written, directed and produced a new documentary about students, such as himself, who must endure the dangers and inconvenience of food allergies.

The film is getting a great deal of media attention around the Chicago area and is quite an accomplishment for Jack, the son of Scott's brother Paul and wife Jill Yonover. His dad even admits it exceeds any of the projects he was working on at the same age, while attending Wilbur Wright Middle School.

The 42-minute documentary is called "That Bites! A documentary about the fears and frustrations of food allergies" and it will be hailed at a two private screenings, 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. April 16 with a Q&A with young director Jack following. The screening event is at Wilmette Theater, 1122 Central Ave. in Wilmette, Ill. Tickets are $25, and proceeds from ticket sales and any of the "allergy-friendly" concessions at the screening will benefit Food Allergy Research & Education aka FARE. No tickets will be sold at the door and admission is by advance ticket sales only. FYI: (800) 929-4040 or foodallergy.org/that-bites

Prior to purchasing tickets for children, parents should view the trailer to determine whether the content is age-appropriate for their child. This documentary was written, produced and directed independent of FARE. More about the film can be found at that-bites.org, and Jack, who lives in Wilmette, already has been scheduled for "That Bites!" to be shown at Vision Fest in N.Y., the New Haven International Film Festival in Conn. and the Eureka Springs Film Fest in Ark.

"Food Allergies are a potentially life-threatening disease that affects approximately 15 million Americans," said Jack, who used a Kickstarter.com online campaign to raise more than $8,400 to make the film, which he began in March 2014.

" 'That Bites!' is a collection of interviews with food allergy sufferers like myself, as well as medical experts who give a simple explanation of the science behind food allergies. In this way, the film offers a chance for everyone to experience a walk in the shoes of someone with a food allergy. The film documents the stories of kids who can’t participate in social events like birthday parties, and even summer camp, while also offering hope. Told mostly by children and for children, 'That Bites!' includes my story and my struggles as well as the stories of other kids who suffer from a disease that cannot be understood unless you live it every day."

As for the national organization Food Allergy Research & Education, it works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. or roughly two in every classroom.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

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