Awards, Reviews & Press Coverage



photo by Ansel Horn

  • CINE Golden Eagle
  • Bronze Award – Health Science Communication Award
  • Honorable Mention – Chris Awards, Columbus Intl Film Festival
  • American Academy of Nursing Media Award
  • Grand Prize-Roy W. Dean Film Grant
  • New York State Council on the Arts Grant


The video succeeds equally well at showing the gifts/skills of the nurses, doctors, and technicians who balance the reality of what is possible and stressors of their job and do it all with a sense of compassion and hope. Highly Recommended.

– MC Journal

Our daughter Emily lived her short life in a neonatal intensive care unit. One of the hardest things was trying to explain to others what life was like for Emily (and for us) in a strange parallel


photo by Scott Jones

universe where tiny babies live out huge medical dramas.  No one but Claire Panke, a neonatal nurse, could so accurately – and eloquently – capture the hopes and fears, joys and sorrows of the NICU, home to as many as 400,000 newborns and their families each year.

With great dignity, A Chance to Grow illuminates the personal and ethical dilemmas that are daily fare in the NICU. Boldly, the film addresses the complicated, long-range issues that premature babies and their parents often face.  Claire Panke’s film is mandatory viewing not only for anyone who has had even passing experience with prematurity, but for anyone who cares about children.                                                                                        

– Elizabeth Mehren, Author, Born Too Soon

This is an excellent production.  Its approach to the parents and professionals involved is intimate without being intrusive and never seems staged.

– Science Books & Films

The film forces us to reevaluate all that we considered important…and this reassessment is in every scene, every frame of A Chance to Grow.  It is not just a story about three families.  It is a story about each and every one of us as reflected by the experiences of these families.

– David Scinto



Noted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and more…

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