DRUNK ON TOO MUCH LIFE

DRUNK ON TOO MUCH LIFE

Michelle Melles / 2021 / English / Canada / 77 mins / World Premiere

What does it mean to be normal in a world gone mad? That’s the question at the heart of writer-director Michelle Melles’ poignant documentary, Drunk on Too Much Life. The film strives to change how people perceive those with mental health issues, framing their conditions as potentially insightful gifts rather than burdensome disorders.

Drunk on Too Much Life focuses on Melles’ daughter, Corrina, a young woman who experiences intense and sometimes painful emotional and psychic states. Corrina describes herself as “being trapped inside her own mind games.” Now, after years of doctors, medications and mental health facility check-ins, her family starts exploring healing methods outside of standard biomedical models. These holistic methods positively impact Corrina, reflecting the healing power of art, creativity and meaningful human connection.

 

SCREENING WITH SOUND GARDEN
Jeamin Cha | 2019 | South Korea | 30 min | Korean with English subtitles
Sound Garden alternates between scenes of large trees being transported and interviews with South Korean female
mental health workers who reflect on counselling’s ambivalence and complexity. The film highlights
the discrepancy between these cultivated trees, designed to thrive in urban surroundings, and the
human spirit, shaped and affected by our modern values and evolving social environments.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: PANEL DISCUSSION
Join director Michelle Melles and family members Corinna and Kevin virtually as they share their
thoughts on this personal documentary. They’ll be joined by others and will delve into different
ways Canadian mental health programs and health care succeeds and fails to accommodate and
support young people in their healing.

 

Keywords: Alternative healing | Family | Health care | Schizophrenia | Trauma

IN PERSON SCREENING
Sat, Nov 6 , 6:30 PM

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

IN PERSON + VIRTUAL
PANEL DISCUSSION
Sat, Nov 6, 8:15 PM ET

ACCESSIBILITY
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Stella's Place Young Adult Mental Health
"Closing Film"

ANNY

ANNY

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available in Ontario only

PRE-RECORDED VIRTUAL Q&A
Available with the film

ACCESSIBILITY

Helena Třeštíková / 2020 / Czech with English subtitles / Czech Republic / 67 mins / Canadian Premiere

Anny became a sex worker at the age of 46, and since then has kept returning to the streets of Prague, rain or shine, as cars pass by her at a snail’s pace. Director Helena Třeštíková recorded Anny between 1996 to 2012 as is her unique approach: she follows ordinary people for years in what she’s dubbed “time-lapse documentaries.” These carefully crafted portraits indirectly capture larger lines of histories — in this case, the economic crisis years that sometimes prompt Anny to reflect on communism. Gently edited, this documentary shifts in time between Anny slowly growing older and her daily life that is often challenging, filled with concerns about her grandchildren and her failing health. An insightful portrait of a person who, with courage and determination, carries on despite life’s surprises.

 

SCREENING WITH SCARS Alex Anna | 2020 | Canada / France | 10 min | French with English subtitles

Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A Watch a pre-recorded Q&A with Director Helena Třeštíková and learn about her experience documenting the life of Anny over 16+ years. The discussion will be moderated by Jenny Duffy, a representative from Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

 

Keywords: Aging | Class | Gender | Sex work | Trauma
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Maggies
Point of View Magazine

KÍMMAPIIYIPITSSINI: THE MEANING OF EMPATHY

KÍMMAPIIYIPITSSINI: THE MEANING OF EMPATHY

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers / 2021 / English / Canada / 124 mins

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy chronicles the impact of the opioid crisis on Indigenous community. Tailfeathers focuses on Alberta’s Kainai First Nation, where her mother, Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, works tirelessly to support and educate families affected by the overdose epidemic. The film presents viewers with a series of first-hand accounts from local first responders, healthcare professionals, and people with substance-use disorder.

Kímmapiiyipitssini is a Blackfoot word for empathy and kindness. The Meaning of Empathy explains why embracing this practice is critical to combating addictions. Criminalizing drug use does not address the root problem; a legacy of colonialism and intergenerational trauma inflicted by racist government policies. The film reveals the merits of this new approach, even as it faces resistance from conservative policymakers. Tailfeathers has crafted one of the year’s most powerful films, chronicling the Kainai First Nation’s struggles, while honouring their strength and resilience.

 

SCREENING WITH JOE BUFFALO
Amar Chebib| 2020 | Canada | English | 16 min
Joe Buffalo is a prolific Indigenous skateboarder. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: DISCUSSING EMPATHY

Join us at 8:30 pm ET for a live Zoom panel discussion featuring Dr. Tailfeathers and Lori Eagle Plume, who will discuss the idea of empathy being a powerful tool for combatting addiction; conversation moderated by Alexandra Lazarowich.

Alexandra Lazarowich is an award-winning Cree filmmaker from northern Alberta. Her short film Fast Horse was honoured with The Special Jury Prize for Directing at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Her body of work as director and producer includes LAKE, Indian Rights for Indian Women, Cree Code Talker and Empty Metal. She is the series producer for the CBC’s multi-award-winning comedy documentary series Still Standing and is one of the co-founders of COUSIN Collective.

 

Keywords: Addiction | Displacement | Harm reduction | Healthcare | Indigenous rights | Trauma
OPENING NIGHT
Thursday October 28th
5pm (in-person) 
*$25 ticket includes RECEPTION, FILM , PANEL DISCUSSION AND AMPLIFY PERFORMANCE
IN-PERSON SCREENING and panel discussion + AMPLIFY
October 28
VIRTUAL SCREENING and panel discussion
October 28 – November 7
ACCESSIBILITY
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Imagine Native
"Opening Film."

HOW WE CARED

HOW WE CARED

Three video stills ontop of blueprints and maps

HOW WE CARED
Saroja Ponnambalam & Rupali Morzaria

How can we create our own architectures of liberation? How we cared (3-channel video installation) is a return to Pandi Kumaraswamy’s archives, reinterpreting the multiple systems of care in his life, over which he had varying levels of autonomy. This expanded schematic of forced care, natural forms of care and creative care. The three sites operate within a fluid and undetermined ecosystem spanning the healthcare/medical world to the spiritual/natural based on family experiences. The schematic attempts to move away from finite solutions to healing medically diagnosed disorders. It prompts viewers to take a step back from conventional architectural practices that use speculative methods to conjure up imaginary built environments for those receiving mental health care.

Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker. Her art practice involves working with a variety of documentary mediums – animation, photographs, family video archives and interviews. Her more recent work explores intergenerational mental health experiences through an intersectional lens.

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is moved by storytelling and movement—in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.

 

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s)| Depression | Family | Psychiatry

IN-PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION
CAMH (ground floor window)
1025 Queen Street West
Oct 28 – Nov 7

This piece has an audio component that will need to be accessed through a personal mobile/cellular device onsite. If data is unavailable, access to Wi-Fi is available upon request.

Headphones/earphones are also recommended to bring to experience this installation, though not necessary if mobile/cellular device has a speaker. Workman Arts will have extra headphones available onsite upon request.

If accessing this in-person installation is a barrier and to find out alternate ways to experience this piece, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com or at 416-583-4339 ext 6. 

WORKSHOP – MOCA PARTNERSHIP:
FROM SCRAPBOOK TO SCREEN
Sun, Nov 7, 1 PM ET

Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to MOCA’s GTA21 exhibition.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Made with funding support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council - Funded by the City of Toronto
Ontario Arts Council Logo

JACINTA

JACINTA

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

LIVE VIRTUAL Q&A – ZOOM
October 30th, 7:30 PM ET

ACCESSIBILITY

Jessica Earnshaw / 2020 / English / USA / 105 mins / Canadian Premiere

Filmed over the course of three years, this documentary begins at the Maine Correctional Center where Jacinta, 26, and her mother Rosemary, 46, are incarcerated together, both recovering from drug addictions. As a child, Jacinta became entangled in her mother’s world of drugs and crime and has followed her in and out of the system since she was a teenager. This time, as Jacinta is released from prison, she hopes to maintain her sobriety and reconnect with her own daughter, Caylynn, 10, who lives with her paternal grandparents. Despite her desire to rebuild her life for her daughter, Jacinta continually struggles against the forces that first led to her addiction. With unparalleled access and a gripping vérité approach, director Jessica Earnshaw paints a deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma over generations.

 

SCREENING WITH VERY PRESENT
Conor McNally | 2020 | Canada | 5 min | English
How does prolonged confinement shape our experience of time? Filmmaker Conor McNally explores the question in the company of his brother Riley, a young man who’s learning to cope with a new—yet strangely familiar—reality.

 

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A with Jessica Earnshaw

Join us at 7:30 PM ET on October 30th for a live Zoom Q & A with the director of Jacinta, Jessica Earnshaw.
Conversation moderated by Orev Reena Katz.
Orev’s prison practice centred around harm reduction, mental health support and trauma-informed care. As a queer Chaplain, Orev has been blessed to work with all kinds of fabulous, spiritual people, and to support 2SLGBTQQIA people of all sexual and gender expressions in their particular struggles on The Inside. See https://www.orevreenakatz.ca/ for details.
Keywords: Addiction | Family | Generational Trauma | Prison Industrial Complex
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Pasan
Elizabeth Fry Toronto

VISIÓN NOCTURNA / NIGHT SHOT

VISIÓN NOCTURNA / NIGHT SHOT

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

VIRTUAL Q&A
Mon, Nov 1, 5 PM ET

ACCESSIBILITY

Carolina Moscoso / 2019 / Spanish with English Subtitles / Chile / 80 mins / Toronto Premiere

Few challenges are harder for a first-time filmmaker than the one Carolina Moscoso set for herself: to make a film based on the rape she was the victim of eight years before, when she was a film school student. The title Visión Nocturna refers to a function that allows digital cameras to film at night, to see in the dark, by enhancing their sensitivity. In order to give form to this darkness, Moscoso coordinates two kinds of contrasting materials and narrative modes. A silent linear account, via a text printed on shots or on a dark background, establishes the naked facts of the rape and its violence, prolonged by a legal process that failed to acknowledge it and to see justice through. In the background or in the gaps of this account, the editing arranges disparate fragments out of the raw footage that she has been shooting for the past fifteen years, as a kind of diary. Joyful, carefree scenes with friends, or solitary impressions; no comment, no explanation that reveals the secret. Only by delving into the silence, and cultivating this secret, does Visión Nocturna pull off the impossible feat of sharing the unshareable. (description courtesy FIDMarseille Festival)

 

SCREENING WITH JULIETA Y LA LUNA / JULIETA AND THE MOON
Milena Castro Etcheberry | 2020 | Chile | 8 min | Spanish with English subtitles
Julieta’s voice tries to reconstruct the family history of sexual abuse from her childhood, traveling
through the house in which it occurred. The place seems empty; however, she comes to life with the
projection on the walls of the family archive material of the protagonist.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH Carolina Moscoso and Milena Castro Etcheberry
Please join Directors Carolina Moscoso and Milena Castro Etcheberry for a virtual Q&A to discuss
the experience of creating their haunting films. The discussion will be moderated by Tamara
Toledo, a curator and writer from Latin American-Canadian Art Projects.

 

Keywords: Gender | Rape | Sexual violence | Trauma
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
aluCine
Sur Gallery
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre

NORTH BY CURRENT

NORTH BY CURRENT

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

PRE-RECORDED VIRTUAL Q&A
Available with the film

ACCESSIBILITY

Angelo Madsen Minax / 2021 / English / USA / 76 mins / Canadian Premiere

After the inconclusive death of his young niece, filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his rural Michigan hometown to make a film about a broken criminal justice system. Instead, he pivots to excavate the depths of generational addiction, Christian fervor and trans embodiment. Lyrically assembled images, decades of home movies and ethereal narration form an idiosyncratic and poetic undertow that guide a viewer through lifetimes and relationships. Like the relentless Michigan seasons, the meaning of family shifts, as Madsen Minax, his sister and his parents strive tirelessly to accept each other. Poised to incite more internal searching than provide clear statements or easy answers, North By Current dives head-first into the challenges of creating identity, the agony of growing up and the ever-fickle nuances of family.

“For me, a personal, first-person approach to storytelling was the only way to make North By Current. My own voice is the only one I feel capable of representing. This merger of personal and political storytelling became an opportunity for my family members and myself to converse, collaborate, and create together — our own version of transformative justice.” — Angelo Madsen Minax

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH ANGELO MADSEN MINAX
Watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax about his experience creating the deeply intimate personal documentary North By Current. The discussion is moderated by Mike Hoolboom, a filmmaker and writer who lives in Toronto and director of Rendezvous 2020 opening film Judy Versus Capitalism.

 

Keywords: Addictions | Family | Gender | Religion | Trauma
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Inside Out
The 519

POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ

POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

ACCESSIBILITY

Celeste Bell and Paul Sng / 2021 / English / UK / 96 mins

Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (aka Poly Styrene) is a punk rock legend. She entered the music business as
a rebellious teenager with big dreams and then willed those dreams into reality. As the frontwoman for her band X-Ray Spex, Poly Styrene was the first Black woman in the UK to front a successful rock band. She would go on to earn legions of fans by producing defiant songs about consumerism, class, and
racial identity.

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché looks at the icon’s life and career from the perspective of her daughter, the film’s co-director, Celeste Bell. Bell uses archival footage, electrifying live performances, and her mother’s diary entries to celebrate Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, and Poly Styrene. Narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this intimate portrait of a punk icon offers a candid look at a reluctant public
figure who struggled with fame while battling mental illness.

 

SCREENING WITH ABSOLUTE PANIC
TJ McEachran | 2019 | Canada | 1 minute | English
A music video for “Absolute Panic,” a song from R U Experiencing Discomfort?, the debut album by
Vancouver’s punk band, Bedwetters Anonymous made by its bassist/vocalist.

 

Keywords: Gender | Immigration | Mother & Daughter | Punk rock | Racism
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Hot Docs logo

THE TESTAMENT OF OLIVER

THE TESTAMENT OF OLIVER

Man looking at empty cans

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

VIRTUAL Q&A
Thurs, Nov 4, 7:30 pm ET

ACCESSIBILITY

Jessica Nilsson / 2019 / Danish with English Subtitles / Denmark / 58 mins / North American Premiere

Every now and then, a film comes along that rips out your heart and shreds it to pieces. Director Jessica Nilsson’s staggering documentary The Testament of Oliver chronicles her friendship with Oliver Juvonen-Peel. Oliver has schizophrenia and struggles with alcohol use disorder. He drinks to cope with his psychiatric issues, but his dual diagnosis makes it challenging to find effective treatment. He reveals
to the camera that mental health facilities reject him due to his alcohol abuse, and he’s involuntarily discharged from outpatient clinics because he’s mentally ill.

The Testament of Oliver reveals what happens to the people who fall through the cracks of the healthcare system. Nilsson’s documentary offers a raw and hardhitting account of a man in dire need
of specialized treatment and support systems. Nilsson captures her dear friend’s struggles with an unflinching eye, sharing Oliver’s soaring highs and crushing lows on his arduous road to recovery.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH JESSICA NILSSIN & OLIVER JUVONEN-PEEL
Join us for a virtual conversation with the director and subject of the film The Testament Of Oliver. Discussion moderated by Victor Stiff member of the Toronto Film Critics Association and Rendezvous’ film programming committee.

 

Keywords: Addiction | Schizophrenia | Recovery
COMMUNITY PARTNER
Jayu

WE HAVE NOT COME HERE TO DIE

WE HAVE NOT COME HERE TO DIE

Student Protestors Carrying Posters

WATCH ONLINE
Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

PRE-RECORDED VIRTUAL Q&A
Available with the film

ACCESSIBILITY

Deepa Dhanraj / 2018 / Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English with English subtitles / India / 110 mins / Canadian Premiere

Rohith Vemula, a Dalit Ph.D research scholar and activist at University of Hyderabad who was persecuted by the university administration and Hindu supremacists, died of suicide on January 17, 2016. His suicide note, which argued against the “value of a man being reduced to his immediate identity” galvanized student politics and solidarity movements. The ensuing outrage gave rise to protests across India, calling the neglectful treatment and systemic oppression faced by Dalit people into question, and encouraging solidarity with minority groups facing similar discrimination from Hindu nationalists, students, administration and aligned governing authorities.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A WITH DEEPA DHANRAJ
Please watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the director of We Have Not Come Here to Die, Deepa Dhanraj and the Director of As I Want, Samaher Alqadi moderated by filmmaker and film programmer Aisha Jamal.

 

Keywords: Academia | Caste oppression | Fascism | Identity | Student Activism | Suicide
CO-PRESENTER
Savac
COMMUNITY PARTNER
Cinema Politica