FILMS & FILMMAKERS & THEATER PLAY
All events will be held at
Rochester Academy of Medicine
1441 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14610
ANY GIVEN DAY
October 11th, 2022 at 7 PM
Documentary - 93 minutes – USA - 2021
Directer / Producer / Cinematographer: Margaret Byrne
In 2015, in the midst of widespread defunding of community mental health care programs across the country, in Chicago, the Cook County Jail has become a default treatment center for people living with mental illness.
While investigating the treatment of detainees, filmmaker Margaret Byrne befriends Angela, Dimitar and Daniel, participants in a mental health court probation program. Their friendship gives each of them the courage to be seen at their most vulnerable as protagonists in this film. In turn, Margaret begins to confront one of the most difficult periods of her life, culminating in a hospitalization for depression.
What begins as a heartfelt desire to accurately portray the lives of Angela, Dimitar and Daniel, forces Margaret to reckon with her own history of mental illness. Margaret’s own hospitalization that occurs during the making of the film, becomes an inspiration to weave her own story into the film. Byrne’s intimate observations of the three, captures the hard-fought triumphs and struggles of living at the intersection of mental illness, poverty, and addiction.
Filmed over five years, their stories expose a system designed for punishment, yet used as a replacement for mental health care. The absence of support takes a toll on family members and friends whom Angela, Dimitar and Daniel provide for and depend on. The resulting stigma and isolation keep them caught in cycles of victory and defeat.
Any Given Day provides deeply personal insight into the necessity of caring relationships, especially when life is at its most difficult.
Talkback with Special Guests:
- Robert L. Weisman, D.O.
Dr. Weisman is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He is Chief of Clinical Operations for the Community Division within the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of Clinical Care for the New York State ACT/FACT team serving mentally disordered offenders in the community. For their work with Project Link, Dr. Weisman and his colleagues received the 1999 American Psychiatric Association’s Gold Award, and the 2009 NAMI New York State Program Award. In 2015, he received the David J. Barry, M.D. Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in Forensic Psychiatry teaching by a Psychiatry and Law faculty member. In 2017, Dr. Weisman received the Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Award at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, member of the American College of Psychiatrists and Board Certified in both General and Forensic Psychiatry by the ABPN. Dr. Weisman is the Director of the Charles E. Steinberg Memorial Fellowship in Psychiatry and Law, at the University of Rochester. He has presented internationally and published on community care of justice-involved individuals with behavioral health disorders and on management of violence risk within this population. He regularly conducts training seminars on topics relative to prevention and management of workplace violence and threat assessment for a variety of audiences including medical, psychiatric, corporate, government and criminal justice professionals. Dr. Weisman is also the principle forensic psychiatric consultant to both the Rochester Police Department and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and is a member of several state and national behavioral threat assessment teams serving federal, corporate, academic, law-enforcement and legal agencies managing at-risk individuals across the United States. He also provides forensic psychiatric consultation nationally specific to individual risk assessment and violence mitigation to medical centers, governmental, criminal justice, and educational agencies along with commercial industry. Through funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Weisman created the Safety and Violence Education (SAVE) training curriculum, utilized by healthcare and residential service providers across North America.
- Margaret Byrne
Margaret is the director of an all-women film collective under the Beti Films banner, which she founded in 2004. A single mother to a teenage daughter, an educator, and a multi-hyphenate filmmaker, Margaret sees the camera as an opportunity for healing. She meets Angela, Dimitar and Daniel at a mental health court and finds herself on an unexpectedly personal, multi-year journey.
THE ROAD BACK (THEATER PLAY)
+ SPECIAL PRE-SHOW ART EXHIBITION
October 21st, 2022
5 PM: RESILIENCE
Annual art show created by Creative Wellness Opportunities (CWO) – Free entrance
7 PM: The Road Back (Ticket Required)
Theater Play - 100 minutes – USA
Writer/Performer: Adina Taubman
Director: Padraic Lillis
Sound designer: Nina Field
The Road Back is the very personal story of Adina Taubman’s journey into and out of a severe depression 12 years ago. With humor and honesty, she tells the story of the experience that transformed her life for the better and led her down a road of discovery to a new, more enlightened sense of self. This entertaining and courageous new play includes helpful strategies for managing depression and anxiety that will inspire anyone who has ever struggled with their mental health.
Adina Taubman and Padraic Lillis previously collaborated on A Line in the Sand, which was awarded Outstanding Production of a Solo Show at both the Midtown International and Planet Connections Theatre Festivals. The show was also awarded the Pulitzer Award for Excellence in Writing and the Meryl Streep Award for Excellence in Acting at the PortFringe Festival and the Best Stage Play Award at the Moondance International Film Festival.
Talkback with Special Guests:
- Dr Ann EZ Griepp hails from Michigan graduating from Michigan State University. She started her post graduate training in family medicine, then transferred and graduated from the Psychiatric Residency Program at URMC, followed by advanced studies in Neuropsychiatry also at URMC. Her early career work was in treatment of Psychiatric Disorders associated with AIDS/HIV. Her career has included significant work in psychiatric emergency rooms, inpatient units,
as CMO for Behavioral Health and Telemedicine at Excellus BCBS, and a private practice of outpatient psychiatry for more than 20 years. Her current professional work is as the
Program Director of a new Psychiatric Residency
- Adina Taubman (Writer/Performer) is an actor, a playwright, and a teaching artist. She recently completed a successful run of her solo show, The Road Back, at The Chain Theatre in New York City, directed by Padraic Lillis. She has performed her solo docudrama, A Line in the Sand, about the Columbine High School massacre (also directed by Padraic Lillis), in nine theater festivals, including the Planet Connections Theatre Festival in NYC (Outstanding Production of a Solo Show Award), the Midtown International Theatre Festival (Outstanding Production of a Solo Show), United Solo Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, PortFringe in Portland, Maine, and in many high schools across the U.S. and in Tangier, Morocco. Adina is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre Company. For their inaugural production, Barking Girl by Susan Bernfield, Adina played the main character, Rae. She has worked at a number of theaters in New York, including Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theater Source, and The Gallery Players. adinataubman.com, chrysalistheatrecompany.com
MENTAL AS EVERYTHING (NY Premiere)
October 25th, 2022 at 7PM
Documentary – 52 minutes – Australia - 2021
A Film by: Damon Smith and Adam Coad
Damon Smith has estimated that he has spent around 50,000 hours of his life, so far, participating in absurd ritualistic behaviors associated with his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). With the help of his anxious friend, Adam Coad, these Australian singer-songwriters share, through original music, preposterous humor, and outlandish animations, the intricate and debilitating nature of what it is like to live and talk about mental illness in a world where it’s ok to talk about a broken arm, but not ok to talk about a broken mind.
Mental As Everything is supported by Regional Arts Victoria and RISE Funding through the Australian Federal Government.
Talkback with Special Guests:
- Dr. Lauren Wadsworth is a clinical psychologist passionate about furthering diversity and inclusion efforts. She is the founder and director of the Genesee Valley Psychology (GVP), a social justice oriented clinic providing evidence-based treatment to the Rochester, NY, area specializing in OCD, trauma, and DBT. She is a Clinical Senior Instructor in Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She serves as a Senior Advisor to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She is also the co-founder of Twin Stars Diversity Trainers, a consultation company offering diversity and identity-related trainings for organizations and leadership.
- Larry Guttmacher is one of the founders of Reel Mind. He is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester. In past lives he has served as an Associate Dean in the Medical School, a Director of Psychiatry Residency Education, and as Clinical Director of the Rochester Psychiatric Center. He is an active volunteer at St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center, teaches both medical students and psychiatry residents, and conducts asylum evaluations with the Rochester Human Rights Initiative. He continues to be amazed and delighted with the community that Reel Mind has developed over the years.
HERE IS BETTER
November 1st, 2022 at 7PM
Documentary – 95 minutes – USA - 2021
A film by: Jack Youngelson
HERE. IS. BETTER. chronicles the stories of four service men and women, whose grit, smarts, and perseverance are on full display as they allow cameras to witness their most deeply personal, inevitably tense, raw, and honest therapy sessions in real-time. The film seeks to bring understanding to how the human mind responds to trauma, to what a diagnosis of PTSD means, and how PTSD can impact daily life, far removed from a military setting. The film does not seek to be prescriptive, but rather illustrates how the right fit of trauma therapies and other beneficial modalities can transform darkness into light for these veterans who gave so much but came home with little understanding of what happened to them while serving their country.
While veterans are more than twice as likely to have PTSD than civilians, the root causes of PTSD are wide-ranging. What needs to be understood is that trauma comes in all forms, including the impact of sexual or physical assault, natural disasters, abuse, exposure to violence, serious health issues, or the death of a loved one. Seemingly unexceptional events can adversely affect people in different professions, from frontline medical workers to EMS to grocery store clerks to delivery couriers. This film is meant to help veterans who have experienced trauma, but also to help audiences who may be experiencing the aftermath of any devastating event and have no idea where or how to find a path forward. As the world still grapples with the collective trauma of the pandemic, the need for effective mental health treatment — free from stigma — is more important than ever.
HERE. IS. BETTER. illustrates how the seemingly impossible mission to heal may become possible as John, Teresa, Jason, and Tabitha choose to face each day with the bravery to seek help and the hope of what help can bring.
Talkback with Special Guests:
- Ellen Poleshuck, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology and Academic Chief of the Division of Collaborative Care and Wellness at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She serves as Director of the Program for Mental Health and Gender Wellness in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Poleshuck is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified marriage and family therapist. Dr. Poleshuck’s research focuses on the development, evaluation, and implementation of integrated treatments for ob/gyn patients with depression and co-occurring concerns such as pain, intimate partner violence, and unmet social needs.
- Carolyn Albu. From the time she was a child, Carolyn always thought that if her country went to war in her lifetime, she wanted to be there. She enlisted in the United States Army in May of 1989; fourteen months later, at the start of the Gulf War, her unit began four agonizing months on 'alert' waiting to be deployed but not knowing when. Her unit, that included her partner, set up camp on King Fahd International Air Base in Saudi Arabia. There she endured nightly scud missile attacks and witnessed the injured suffering in the hospital where she worked. She felt helpless when she could not answer the calls of distress from her partner, who was medevaced for treatment in Riyad after sustaining a non-combat injury. For years after she served Carolyn had difficulty accepting the signs of a problem; how could she say she had PTSD when she was proud of her service and that it all felt normal to her? Finally, 27 years after her service, Carolyn took the first step to get help, which led her to the Cincinnati VA’s Trauma Recovery Center. This was just the beginning of her journey to healing.
2009-2019 IN-PERSON SCREENINGS & TALKBACKS