Happy Dox

The Apothecary

Helen Hood Scheer
Screening time  
23.02. / Monday, 20:00 - 22:00 Theatre 5  
In an impoverished former mining town in the American Southwest, a beloved druggist runs the community’s main hub: the sole pharmacy within 4,000 square miles. He gamely occupies multiple roles as surrogate doctor, life counselor, and community benefactor.

The Apothecary is a documentary short film about Don Colcord, the beloved druggist in a remote former mining town in Southwestern Colorado. Since the uranium industry collapsed in the 1970s, it has become a hardscrabble place where the folks who haven’t fled can barely eke out a living. One oasis of activity is Don’s store, The Apothecary Shoppe; it is the local hub and the sole pharmacy within 4,000 square miles. To the community, Don is jovial and almost heroic. He gamely occupies multiple roles as surrogate doctor, life counselor, and community benefactor. Don’s sanguine public persona, however, belies a long-suffered private pain for which there is no drug, no cure, and no relief. At home, we see he is isolated, demoralized, and powerless in the face of the spina bifida that afflicts his wife and in his efforts to raise his grandson. Don is able to help just about everyone in the region, but he cannot help the people that mean the most to him.


Helen Hood Scheer

Helen Hood Scheer is a documentary filmmaker, professor, and freelance producer. She has produced documentaries for HBO, PBS, A&E, National Geographic, and other networks. Past credits include contemporary and historical films on a wide range of topics, from science and sports to arts and politics. She earned a Highest Honors BA in American Studies and Minor in History from UC Santa Cruz and a MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Helen was born and raised in Venice, CA.

General sponsor

The Apothecary

2013, 18', DCP

Directed by:
Helen Hood Scheer

Screenplay by:
Helen Hood Scheer

Helen Hood Scheer

Edited by:
Helen Hood Scheer

William Ryan Fritch

Helen Hood Scheer

Produced by:
Nutshell Productions

Festivals & Awards:

Student Academy Award for Best Documentary 2014; Special Jury Recognition Award, Special Audience Recognition Award; Arizona International Film Festival 2014 – 2014 Best Documentary Short; Durango Independent Film Festival 2014 – Jury Award for Best Documentary Short; Black Maria Film + Video Festival 2014 – 1st Place Jury Award; Hot Docs 2014; Sarasota Film Festival 2014; Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2014; Independent Film Festival of Boston 2014; RiverRun International Film Festival 2014; Cleveland International Film Festival 2014; Telluride Mountain Festival 2014; Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2014; Starz Denver International Film Festival 2014; DokuFest Kosovo; Doc NYC 2013