A short film produced in conjunction with the London Film School


Phineas, a railroad demolition expert in 1848, survives an awful explosion and head injury. Once the physical wounds heal, the town folk notice his personality has changed and his doctor, Harlow, must decide whether or not to risk his reputation to defend this disabled outcast. 


The mysterious case of Phineas Gage has inspired new thoughts on mental health and neuroscience for over 100 years. For the first time on film, the inexplicable true story of Phineas Gage is brought to life. Set in Cavendish, Vermont, the tragedy of Gage is seen through the eyes of his physician, Dr. John Harlow. The affable Gage, a beloved railroad worker, suffers an explosion that plunges a tamping rod weighing over 13 pounds through his skull. Miraculously, Dr. Harlow manages to save his life, but brain damage leaves Gage’s world forever skewed. Harlow attempts to restore Gage’s’ outlook on life, while also struggling to explain the drastic personality shift to a town of people. who, in 1848, do not understand the consequences of a traumatic brain injury.

Directed by Keith Kopp

Produced by Mike Marchlewski and Alyssa Roehrenbeck in conjunction with The London Film School

Screenings and Awards

Gage has screened at over 35 film festivals on five separate continents, including a special screening at Oxford University with discussions around the impact Phineas Gage had on our understanding of neuroscience. It has also aired on the Short Film Show on Showcase TV – and in the UK on Freesat 161 and Sky Channel 161. We’ve also made it accessible as a learning tool for teachers and professors.

Award Nominations

Best Director | The International Short Film Show Awards

Best Wardrobe | The International Short Film Show Awards

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