The Project

"We are the producers of the “Secret of Joy”, a project conceived to raise the awareness for the cause of pediatric cancer. Each of us might find happiness in a different way but we can all agree on one simple truth: children are angels and an endless source of joy. They are our future and the reason that motivated us to create this project.

Regardless of the scientific progresses achieved during the past 3 decades in curing cancer, pediatric cancer’s research is seriously under funded with only 1% to 2% of the funds raised being destined to it. The consequence? Cancer still claims more children’s lives than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined. Let’s ask ourselves:

What would we do if we found out that our child had cancer and only a 45% chance of survival? How would we explain to him or her what that means?

When two of our friends lost their son and daughter because of cancer we were so devastated by their loss that we decided to do something. We could have cut a check to the hospital that treated them or to another foundation that supports the research on pediatric cancer, but we felt it would have not been enough. We wanted to do more, to help more.

This is what lead us to this project: a short film, and a book about The Secret of Joy to raise the awareness on Pediatric Cancer and touch people’s hearts. The short will be made eligible for the Academy Awards then sent to the best festivals in the world to assure it the widest audience and press coverage. Special screenings attended by the media and celebrities will be organized for it in Los Angeles, New York, Rome (Italy), Barcelona (Spain) and London (England).

Once the festival season is finished, the short and the book will be: (i) made available worldwide through the media and YouTube channels of our media partners. Among them one owned by TheCGBros ( which has already over 410K followers and over 95 (ninety five) million views; (ii) donated, in a special edition, to foundations and hospitals around the world so that they can use it as a tool to fundraise their campaigns.

Our short tells the story of a beautiful dream in King Arthur’s world, a land populated by valiant knights, beautiful ladies, little elves and monsters to be defeated. A world of fantasy and beauty only a child can imagine; a tale that enchants the viewers until life brings them abruptly back to reality. Joy, our little 10 y.o. princess, is in the battle for her life to defeat the monster of cancer! At the end, she is saved by the doctors of the hospital she’s in, and her hope to live a normal life is kept alive.

The book will contain pictures from the behind the scenes of the short, portraying the best moments on set and letters and drawings from children with cancer or cancer survivors who will tell us what the ‘secret of joy’ is for them.

Pre-production took four months and the production took place in Los Angeles last December. Incredibly talented and award winning actors and designers donated their time to bring this story to life. Sponsors from Italy and the US, including GILUXE, Technicolor, and Hammerhead Productions, contributed with over half million dollars (in services and products provided for free) to make this happen.

Post-production is almost over. We must start looking at the future, and in future of this project there is the first series of public screenings.

From August 28th until September 3rd The Secret of Joy will be screened at the Laemmle 7 theater in North Hollywood and the whole Box Office will be donated to the Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation.

Please buy a ticket here through Paypal, even if you can’t make it. Your small $9 contribution will help a lot.

We don’t know what your secret of joy is, but ours is to see little children smiling again, and again, knowing these little angels can have a long healthy life.

Max & Fabiola Bartoli"