Burden of Genius

April 18, 2019 (All day)

Playing at the Carnegie Science Center from April 12-18 at 4pm and 7pm. For tickets, click here.

Our new movie Burden of Genius: Dr. Thomas Starzl’s Journey Into Organ Transplantation will have its public, red-carpet premiere in Pittsburgh on Fri., April 12 at Carnegie Science Center, kicking off a week-long run from April 12-18th.  

We are so excited that this film which has been playing around the world from London to New Delhi and won a couple of Best Documentary prizes at film festivals is finally coming home where this story of this Pittsburgh giant will screen on the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center.

Director Tjardus Greidanus and producer Carl Kurlander will be speaking after the 7.p.m screening on Friday April 12th, and Carl will be moderating conversations with special speakers throughout the week (full schedule of events below).

To purchase tickets, go to www.www.tinyurl.com/starzlfilm  Tickets are $9.75 for non-members and $7.95 for members.   

About the film:


Relive the start of a medical revolution at Pittsburgh’s most advanced cinema. Burden of Genius tells the story of legendary transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, who took what was once thought only the subject of science fiction—the idea of taking an organ from one person and transplanting it into another—and turned it into an everyday medical miracle, saving the lives of countless patients and transforming modern medicine.

Considered the “father of transplantation,” Starzl performed the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967, but it wasn’t until he came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1981 that he perfected what was still considered an experimental procedure and helped what was then a Steel City struggling to reinvent itself become "the transplant capital of the world.”

Burden of Genius has captivated film festival audiences all over the world, winning Best Documentary prizes at the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Raw Science Film Festival in Los Angeles.


Schedule of Events:

Several showings of Burden of Genius will feature special guests and speakers, including:

  • Fri., April 12: In honor of National Blue and Green Day–which promotes the success of organ, eye, and tissue transplantation and the need for registered donors–we will celebrate transplant recipients and donor families at the 4 pm screening. During this and for the entire run, CORE (Center for Organ Recovery & Education) will have a table where visitors can sign up to become organ donors.  Those who do so will receive a coupon for a free popcorn at the concession stand.


  • Fri., April 12: Following the 7 pm screening, filmmaker Carl Kurlander, known for St. Elmo’s Fire and The Shot Felt ‘Round The World, and director Tjardus Greidanus (The Shot Felt Round The WorldNew York Heartbeat) will talk about the journey of being one of the producers on Burden of Genius.
  • Sat., April 13: After the 4 pm screening, Dr. Velma Scantlebury, a former Thomas E. Starzl Institute fellow and author of the new book, “Beyond Every Wall: Becoming America’s 1st Black Female Transplant Surgeon,” and Dr. Abhi Humar, Clinical Director of the Thomas E. Starzl Institute, will discuss the past, present, and future of transplantation as part of a Science on Screen discussion


  • Sat., April 13: After the 7 pm screening, Dr. George Mazariegos, Chief of the Pediatric Transplant Program of Children’s Hospital of UPMC, will discuss the special role children have played in the history of transplantation, will talk about the special relationship children have played throughout the history of transplantation. 


  • Sun., April 14: After the 4 pm screening, Scantlebury will be joined Joy Starzl, Dr. Starzl’s wife, who has some of the funniest and most heartfelt moments of the film Scantlebury will be signing her book. 


  • Sun., April 14:  Following the 7 pm screening,  Dr. Ngoc Thai, who is featured in the film and is currently the director of the Center for Abdominal Transplantation at Allegheny General Hospital as well as the Chair of the Department of Surgery, will discuss his experiences working with Dr. Starzl as a fellow.


  • Wed., April 17: After the 7 pm screening, Mary Lou McLaughlin, the founding director of the Family House, will talk about working with Dr. Starzl, transplant patients, and their families during the pioneering period where Pittsburgh was becoming “The Transplant Capital Of the World."

To reserve tickets:


Reserving tickets in advance for this film is strongly encouraged as screenings in other cities have sold out. To purchase tickets for a group of 15+, please contact 412.237.3400.