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FILMS & FILMMAKERS - 2018 Season

OPENING NIGHT!
Come celebrate our 10th ANNIVERSARY SEASON with Art, Music & Film!

TUESDAY, May 8
Memorial Art Gallery
500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY

6 PM:
“Awakening” Art Exhibit,
Atrium


Special juried art exhibit curated by
the Mental Health Association’s Creative Wellness Opportunities;

Executive Director: Veronica Weider;

Art Consultant: Leslie Werlin.

7 PM:
Film Screenings,
Auditorium

  • Heaven is A Traffic Jam on the 405
  • OC87 Recovery Diaries: Selected Short Films



HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405
Documentary, 2017, 40 minutes
Directed by Frank Stiefel.

Brilliant artist Mindy Alper is represented by one of LA’s top galleries, and her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of extreme depression and anxiety. Through electroshock therapy, multiple commitments to mental institutions and a 10-year period without speech, her only consistent means of communicating has been to channel her hyper self-awareness into drawings and sculpture of powerful psychological clarity.

Through an examination of her work, interviews, reenactments,
the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mâché bust of her beloved psychiatrist, we learn how she has emerged from a life of darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and laughter.

Awards:

  • 2018 ACADEMY AWARD! Best Documentary, Short Subject
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
    - Jury Award
    - Audience Award
  • Austin Film Festival
    - Jury Award
    - Audience Award
    - Hiscox Courage Award
  • International Documentary Film Festival: Artistic Inspiration Award
    and many more

Reviews:

Powerfully confronts the reality of living with mental illness and negotiating its pain every day, and poignantly realizes art’s ability to express unintelligible experiences through Stiefel’s eccentric approach that appropriately finds a visual equivalent to Alper’s language… What a remarkable work of art. POV Magazine

A playful and beautiful treatise on the power of art as therapy and the uniquely human ability to transform pain into expression. Director Frank Stiefel deserves recognition for never ghettoizing Mindy or her work as “outsider” art, as others have and would… Film Inquiry

VIEW HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM MOVIE TRAILER

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Screened with:

OC87 RECOVERY DIARIES - Selected Shorts
Documentary, various lengths.

Our friends from the OC87 Recovery Diaries join us once again from Philadelphia to present several new short films that tell dramatic and powerful stories of mental health recovery, aided by the help of art, writing, music and film.

Q&A to follow with:

  • Special Guest! GABE NATHAN, Editor-in-Chief, OC87 Recovery Diaries
  • Leslie Werlin, Creative Wellness Opportunities
  • Facilitator: Chacku Mathai, Executive Director, Mental Health Association

 

DEPRESSION: THE MUSICAL
TUESDAY, MAY 15 AT 7PM
Jewish Community Center
1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, NY

A LIVE STAGE READING
Performed by Ralph Meranto
Written by Herb Katz and Paula Marchese
Directed by Herb Katz
Music & Lyrics by Patricia Chadwick
Musical Director/Accompanist: Julie Covach

depression the musical

At times poignant, heartbreaking, endearing and hllarious, this true story chronicles the talented Herb Katz’s lifelong struggle with Depression, including time spent in the R Wing of Strong Hospital, where he implausibly meets a beautiful woman visitor who later becomes his wife. Told through stories, jokes and song, this is a tale that will leave you laughing, crying, and with a better understanding of what makes us all human.

Q&A to follow.

HERB KATZ is one of the Co-Founders of the Reel Mind Theater & Film Series, and was recognized by NAMI-Rochester Award for his contribution to mental health advocacy. For close to 30 years, he was the Arts Director of the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Rochester, both performing and managing the theatre and art gallery spaces. He is the recipient of the Arts & Cultural Council Award for Outstanding Programming at the JCC, and the Geva Theatre Legacy Award, given to an individual who has done the most to further theatre in Rochester.  

RALPH MERANTO is the CenterStage Theatre Artistic Director at the Louis S. Wolk JCC. He is known as an innovative theatre director and developer of new plays. Recent projects include “Survivors” by Wendy Kout, based on the testimony of 10 Rochester-area holocaust survivors, Jason Odell Williams’ “Church & State,” which premiered at the JCC before running Off-Broadway, and the popular “Hit Makers/Hit Factory” series he created.

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DEEJ
Tuesday, May 22 AT 7 PM
Cinema Theatre
957 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY

DOCUMENTARY, 72 minutes, 2017
Co-directors: Robert Rooy & David James Savarese
Animation: Em Cooper
Words: David James Savarese

Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese ("Deej") found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.

Through the first-of-its-kind collaboration between veteran filmmaker Robert Rooy and a nonspeaking young man with Autism, the film is a story told largely from the inside – by DJ, and not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera. At its core, Deej reflects the level of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: "Nothing about us without us."

Q&A to follow with

  • IN PERSON! Special guest: DJ Savarese
  • Dr. Lori Jeanne Peloquin

Awards:

  • Jury Award, Best Feature Documentary:
    - Indigo Moon Film Festival
    - Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
    - Superfest International Disability Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Newburyport Documentary Film Festival

Reviews:

The best film on autism I’ve ever seen…authentic from start to finish. Brent White, Adult Transition Program Director, Ala Costa Centers, Berkeley, CA

A giant leap forward in shifting public perception. Ari Ne’eman, Co-founder, ASAN and Founder, WeSupport.com

In my 40 years of research, teaching and advocacy in the field of autism, I've seen nothing to top it. Anne M. Donnellan, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Universities of Wisconsin and San Diego

DJ cannot speak with his voice, and yet his words rise up in a powerful, poetic voice of advocacy. Kirsten Haugen, Working Group Coordinator, The World Forum Foundation on Early Care and Education

A beautifully rendered testimony to the power of meaningful inclusion in education. Cheryl A. Theis, MA, Education Advocate, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

A brilliant, moving and innovative film. Eric Zigman, Executive Director, Golden Gate Regional Center, San Francisco, CA

Opens up the world of autism like nothing I’ve ever seen. Louise Kennedy, Senior Producer, Arts Engagement, WBUR

VIEW ANIMATED CLIP OF POEM “SWOON”

VIEW DEEJ MOVIE TRAILER

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ALIVE INSIDE + FORGET ME NOTS Musical Performance
TUESDAY, JUNE 5 AT 7 PM
Cinema Theatre
957 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY

6:30 PM: FORGET ME NOTS MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

Join us for this special short concert by the Forget Me Nots, made up of members of the Lee family. Father Ben Lee is the new Chair of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Rochester Medical School.

7 PM: ALIVE INSIDE FILM SCREENING
DOCUMENTARY, 78 minutes.
Directed and written by Michael Rossato-Bennett


This Sundance Film Festival Audience Favorite, shot partially here in Rochester at St. John's Home, is a moving documentary chronicling the remarkable story of how social worker, Dan Cohen, was able to awaken memories -with carefully personalized playlists on re-purposed IPods - for thousands of Alzheimer's patients and others suffering from memory loss, dementia, severe anxiety or other ailments.

What started as a pilot program at four New York long-term care facilities is now in 10 different countries at 4,500 sites. Twenty-one states have made Cohen's Music and Memory program part of their public policies, and musical artists such as Elvis Costello, Carole King and Kenny Chesney have come on board to champion this breakthrough.

Q&A to follow.

Awards:

  • Audience Award
    - Sundance Film Festival
    - Berkshire International Film Festival
    - Calgary Underground Film Festival
    - Milwaukee Film Festival
    - Provincetown International Film Festival
    - Sedona International Film Festival
  • Special Award, Boston Film Festival
  • Special Jury Prize, Art and Activism, Nashville Film Festival
  • Best Documentary o Fort Myers Beach Film Festival o Master of Art Film Festival o Milano International Film Festival
  • Nominee, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival

Reviews:

A gloriously inspirational film documenting music’s healing power in Alzheimer patients. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Joyous, unexpectedly uplifting. LA TIMES

VIEW ALIVE INSIDE MOVIE TRAILER

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GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM
TUESDAY, JUNE 19 AT 7 PM
Cinema Theatre
957 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY

Documentary, 2016, 97 minutes.
Directed by Jedd & Todd Wider

After being released from a psychological medical facility, Linda Bishop walked down the road, discovered an abandoned farmhouse and moved in. A prisoner of her own mind, she survived for four months on apples and rainwater, during one of the coldest winters on record. When her body was found the next spring, beside her was a diary documenting her journey of starvation and loss of sanity, but told with poignance, beauty, humor, and spirituality.

Both a study of systemic failure and also a testament to the artistic and independent spirit of Linda Bishop, the film poses many provocative questions including the issue of civil liberties of the mentally ill—if one’s mind is not free, can one truly exercise free will?

Q&A to follow with Larry Guttmacher, M.D., Clinical Director, Rochester Psychiatric Center

Awards:

  • Winner, Special Jury Prize, HOT DOCS
  • Best of Fest, IDFA
  • Special Jury Award, Innovative Treatment of a Social Issue in a Documentary Feature, Napa Valley Film Festival
  • Best Documentary Feature
    - American Documentary Film Festival
    - New Hampshire Film Festival
    - Maryland International Film Festival
  • Nominated, Best Documentary Feature
    - Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
    - Cleveland International Film Festival
    - Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Reviews:

New York Times Critic’s Pick

A devastating commentary on American society’s approach to mental health. Los Angeles Times

Remarkably moving. The Washington Post

Beautiful, evocative, and ultimately heartbreaking. The Atlantic

Haunting and uncommonly artful. The Hollywood Reporter

A powerful film… artfully rendered with compassion and intelligence. These types of cerebral arguments should fall to the wayside when a person’s life is at stake. Linda Bishop did not need to suffer, nor die. Her death was a failure in care produced by blind obedience to spurious logic and to professional diffidence. Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., Medical Director of NYS Office of Mental Health, Psychology Today

An extraordinary film that portrays brilliantly the inner reality of an intelligent and creative human being suffering from a serious and life threatening mental illness. The viewer will come away with not only appreciation of this amazing person but also the dysfunction in our system of mental health that allows for preventable tragedy after tragedy. We must do better. Steven S. Sharfstein, M.D., President Emeritus, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Former President of the American Psychiatric Association

VIEW GOD KNOW WHERE I AM MOVIE TRAILER

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SUICIDE: THE RIPPLE EFFECT
TUESDAY, JUNE 26 AT 7 PM
Cinema Theatre
957 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY

Documentary, 93 minutes, 2018.


There is a global epidemic that is killing over 800,000 people every year: suicide. Kevin Hines knows these statistics well. At age 19, he attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. After a miraculous survival, he became a world-renowned mental health advocate, motivational speaker and author who travels the globe spreading a message of hope, recovery and wellness, focusing on the devastating effects of suicide and the tremendous positive ripple effects of inspiration and hope that are helping millions heal & stay alive.

Reviews:

This film will save lives. National Suicide Prevention Hotline

A film about hope. Huffington Post

This is gut-level real. American Association of Suicidology

VIEW SUICIDE: THE RIPPLE EFFECT MOVIE TRAILER

 

 


National Alliance on Mental Illness - Rochester (NAMI)
320 N. Goodman Street, Suite 102
Rochester, NY 14607
For more information, call NAMI: (585) 423-1593