A short film about a Helping Hands recipient and her monkey.

The first thing Maryanne McCauley told us when we called her about making a film was, “My story is not a sad one.” Maryanne had seen many of the films we made for Helping Hands Monkey Helpers and she was worried that her story might not be dramatic enough.

Maryanne is resilient, enthusiastic, and said she would be happy to collaborate with us. She seemed like the right person to help us with an idea we had been wanting to try for some time. Monkeys tend to be nervous around strangers, making it difficult for even a small film crew to get realistic footage of home life with a monkey. We offered Maryanne a GoPro and asked her if she would film herself with her helper monkey Jessica when there was nobody else around.

She sent us lots of footage and suddenly we were seeing aspects of home life with a helper monkey that we had not been able to film ourselves. By the time we arrived to film Maryanne and Jessica, we were confident that Maryanne’s story would give us an unusual and intimate picture of a wonderful relationship. 


Client: Helping Hands Monkey Helpers
A film by Cary & Yari Wolinsky

Helping Hands Monkey Helpers is a national nonprofit serving quadriplegics and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility-impairments by providing highly trained monkeys to assist with daily activities. Through the generous support of donors and volunteers, their monkeys are placed at no cost with disabled people and their families. For more information, please visit