Stephen Hosier | Canada | Doc | 2023 | 80 minutes | English | World Premiere 

Canadian filmmaker Stephen Hosier focuses the lens of his feature debut uncomfortably close to home as he joins his childhood friend, Richard Csanyi, in investigating the life and death of the latter’s twin brother, Attila. Found dead on a Hamilton rooftop in May 2020, the 28-year-old was expelled from a long-term care residence even as he grappled with addiction and schizophrenia. 

A creative expression of grief and healing, this stirring home-grown film compassionately explores the intersection of personal trauma and the systems that fail those in need, while striving toward a place of forgiveness and understanding. ATTILA is a beautiful portrait honouring one man’s tragedy and the family he left behind, while providing the audience with a valuable window into the extreme systemic obstacles experienced by far too many in Canada and around the world.

Tuesday October 10, 2023 marks the 75th Anniversary of World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is ‘mental health is a universal human right’. The sentiment aligns with the ambitions of ATTILA, the film. In presenting an authentic and local portrayal of addiction and schizophrenia. We hope to destigmatize these circumstances and create a space for dynamic conversation that lead to change.

Join us after the film screening for a post-film panel discussion moderated by Aisha Jamal (filmmaker and film programmer) featuring Dr. Naheed Dosani (palliative care physician and health justice activist), Chris Summerville (Schizophrenia Society of Canada), Diana Chan McNally (community and crisis worker) and other special guests to be announced.



Hashtags: #RWMFEST #MindtheGaps #ATTILAfilm

Get Tickets


In person screening — Tuesday, October 10, 2023
World Mental Health Day
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema | 506 Bloor St W, Toronto
Box office: 6 PM | Film + Panel: 7 PM

Streaming across Canada October 27th to November 6th

Vibe Mogensen | 2021 | Denmark | 52 minutes | Danish with English subtitles | North American Premiere

Rendezvous With Madness is pleased to present the extraordinary documentary film Love Bound: When Your Child Becomes Mentally Ill directed by Vibe Mogensen available for streaming across Canada from October 27th to November 6th 

Director Vibe Mogensen’s documentary, Love Bound: When Your Child Becomes Mentally Ill takes viewers behind closed doors to experience intimate group therapy sessions for empathic and stressed parents. Many of the caregivers featured in the film have children who will require specialized care throughout their entire lives. The parents struggle to maintain their own health, careers and social lives while meeting their kids’ unique needs – schizophrenia, ADHD, bipolar disorder and suicidal ideation.

This revealing documentary is uplifting, heartbreaking and unapologetically honest. Love Bound: When Your Child Becomes Mentally Ill delivers a touching reminder of what the superhuman levels of inner strength people are capable of when they have others to lean on.

Screening with

Ousmane | Jorge Camarotti | 2021 | Canada | 25 minutes | French with English Subtitles

Ousmane, a newly arrived immigrant living in Montreal, faces a challenging situation when he meets an elderly disoriented woman at the end of his workday.

Keywords: Suicide | Schizophrenia | Bipolar Disorder | Caregiver
Genre: Documentary 
#RWMFEST #MoreThanRebellion



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.


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 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

Sat, Nov 6 , 6:30 PM

Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

Sat, Nov 6, 8:15 PM ET

Stella's Place Young Adult Mental Health
"Closing Film"



Man looking at empty cans

Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

Thurs, Nov 4, 7:30 pm ET


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 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

Reel Abilities Film Festival - The World is Bright

Reel Abilities Film Festival - The World is Bright

We are pleased to co-present the ReelAbilities Film Festival screening of The World Is Bright – a riveting Canadian documentary following the epic 10-year journey of a Chinese couple searching for the truth behind their son’s death in Canada. On May 30th at 2 PM, audiences are invited to watch The World Is Bright, which will be followed by a panel about Mental health and Immigration at 4:30 PM.


No recommended events under this criteria

Mental Health Film Series - Les mondes de Vincent (The Worlds of Vincent)

Mental Health Film Series - Les mondes de Vincent (The Worlds of Vincent)

D: Rozenn Potin / 2015 / French with English subtitles / RATING: 14A / Canada / 80 min / FREE




In the lead-up to the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 28, we’re showcasing free docs-and-conversations about mental health and mental illness in partnership with Bell Let’s Talk and Hot Docs.

Films will be available to stream from January 4-28 and culminate in a live virtual panel discussion with special guests on January 28. Tickets for all films and the panel discussion are free, and can be booked through the Hot Docs Box Office.

This intimate documentary immerses you in the real and imagined worlds of Vincent, who, for 16 years now, has been living with schizophrenia. Vincent’s sister, filmmaker Rozenn Potin, follows her charismatic and endearing sibling—now 36—from his carefree childhood to his more complex present, brilliantly capturing the before and after of the illness of a loved one. Filled with beautiful archival images, The Worlds of Vincent is a personal journey into the still-mysterious world of schizophrenia and heart-wrenching story of love, family and mental illness.

In French with English subtitles

Ce documentaire intimiste vous plonge dans le monde réel et virtuel de Vincent, schizophrène depuis 16 ans. La sœur de Vincent, la réalisatrice Rozenn Potin, suit son frère charismatique et attachant — maintenant âgé de 36 ans — de son enfance insouciante à son présent plus complexe, présentant avec brio la vie avant et après la maladie d’un être cher. Ponctué de belles images d’archives, Les mondes de Vincent est un voyage personnel dans l’univers encore mystérieux de la schizophrénie et une histoire émouvante d’amour, de famille et de questionnement sur la maladie mentale.

En français avec sous-titres en anglais

Hot Docs logo
Bell Let's Talk


No recommended events under this criteria

Jo, Don't Go There

Jo, Don't Go There

a note from Oliver Jane, Creator of Jo Don’t Go There

Sometimes the “show must not go on” and that’s ok.

When I made the decision to not move forward with my piece Jo Don’t Go There in Rendezvous with Madness 2020, I was encouraged by my friend and contact at Workman Arts to write a short reflection for all of you in lieu of the show. Here you will find some rambling, musing, and reflecting. Thank you for taking a brief moment to reflect with me.

When I agreed to move forward with the project several months ago, I was excited by the challenge of transferring my live performance pieces to video web content. Unfortunately, I found that meeting the demands of a precarious/always changing pandemic environment made completing the project difficult. I am an artist that lives with chronic pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, PTSD symptoms, and OCD symptoms. The greatest lesson I have learned from managing all of these is that I should not go beyond my limits. Unfortunately, working in solo-isolation and not having funding to adequately compensate others to do the much-needed-tasks to make this project show-ready was bringing me close to my limits.

Since I made the choice to pause the show, the phrase “the show must go on” has been echoing through my mind. Upon reflecting on the nagging presence of this phrase within my mind, I recall that I have, almost exclusively, operated within creative environments where that sentence is espoused. I have worked in so many creative environments where the expectation to see a show to its completion is demanded of artists, producers, and production teams: no matter the cost. My years training to be an artist and working professionally have been colored by watching many friends and colleagues sacrifice their physical and mental health to see work to its completion. For many years I have wondered if creative communities should let go of the phrase “the show much go on” and refrain from normalizing the practice of sacrificing physical and mental wellness amongst artists. What I have witnessed in theatre schools and amongst theatre makers has made me consciously attempt to avoid working myself beyond my limits so that I do not worsen my already-sometimes-very-challenging health.

So I say once again, to comfort myself and to encourage those who find themselves also facing projects, businesses, and plans that need to be put on pause, closed, or canceled as a result of the pandemic: “the show must not go on” and that’s ok.

I’d like to offer gratitude to the team who has assisted me during this process. Though the show will not be viewed in this festival, I am continuing the reflect on and develop the body of work I have made thus far. I feel I must offer my deep gratitude to all those who gave me their time and talents.

  • I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with my older brother, a very skilled video editor, who has been a cherished peer, mentor, and teacher (of art and life) for these last several months.
  • I am grateful to the handful of talented musician friends who were willing to do some work on this project for free, for very low fees, or for barter.
  • I am grateful to Workman Arts for supporting me as I adjusted the show to the changes brought about by the pandemic. This is my second experience working with Workman Arts, and I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate the work Kelly, Scott, Cara, Paulina, and the rest of the team working behind the scenes at Workman Arts do to make this really special festival happen. And during a pandemic, no less!
  • Finally, I am grateful for organizations like Workman Arts that are actively striving to foster greater diversity of representation within the Ontario and Toronto creative community. I hope you all will continue to support and patronize Workman Arts even after the festival has passed.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival, you remember to stay safe, you do what you can to support and aid the most vulnerable in our communities, you donate to groups and organizations that are trying to address the already existing racial and economic inequality within North America that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and you all focus your energies on taking care of your immunity and your mental health while the world faces global crisis. I know I will!

I send love and gratitude to you all.

-Oliver Jane

goat(h)owl theatre / Lead Artist, Performer, Creator, Writer: Oliver Jane / Collaborator, Performer: Leah Pritchard / Collaborator, Performer: Jillian Rees-Brown / Video Collaborator, Editor: Jon Jorgensen

Enter the mind of Jo, a nonbinary trauma survivor, video artist and clown. Meet Jo’s consciousness embodied: their performative imaginary friend Oli Oli Ennui, a snarky clown who doesn’t take all this modern art stuff too seriously. If you know Jo’s personal story (hailing from NYC, navigating OCD and PTSD while occupying space in Toronto during the pandemic), do you know Jo? If you hear Oli sing punk-injected cabaret, do you know their soul? Experience Jo’s multimedia happening: a video series, music playlists, Instagram uploads, photo exhibition and a live installation performance at 651 Dufferin Street. This collection of fragments resonates in permanent refrain: Do you know me now?

Founded by Maria Wodzinska and Oliver Jane in 2017, goat(h)owl generates collaboratively devised experiences. Grounded in the body, at the core of every piece is a question. We take flight through our investigation of the thematic territory, of our position to the question, and of our will-to-know. We attempt to affirm the unknowable with proposals — playing in-front-of/with/around an audience. We want to shake up sedimented modalities of meaning and truth-telling with our moving ensemble. We point the eye to the kaleidoscope of forms created. Do we invite the audience to make meaning? Yes. Do we make meaning? Come and see.


Loud Sounds, Mature Language, Nudity, Rape and/or Sexual Violence, Sexual Content, Suicide




Headshot of a person facing the camera with vividly colored stretchy paper strips wrapped around their head.

Creator: Laura Shintani / A/V: Grant Padley

Neuroelastic is a self-activated artistic performance. Taking a cue from the well-known concept of Dr. Norman Doidge’s neuroplasticity, it is inspiring that the mind can adapt in new ways. The artist imagined an idea; by wrapping oneself in streams of coloured synaptic “bandages” this symbolic act can allow thoughts and feelings to show on the outside. Using photography as documentation, a capture of the moment reveals what is hidden. This artwork of self-permission reflects on not only the unseen being seen, but that it can be changed. This collection of images I hope can read as a zany family album of the mind. Neuroelastic is an interior selfie and an invitation to an altered way of being.

Laura Shintani is a Toronto-based multimedia artist who creates work in order to provoke questions in artistic forms. Shintani represents a hybrid of work, art making, study and teaching. She is interested in seeing people embrace the cycle of creativity: playing, problem solving and reflecting. Raised in small-town Ontario, Shintani later studied fashion design at Ryerson University and received a degree from the University of Toronto. After personal discovery she made art a vocation and earned a Master of Fine Art from the University of Windsor. Shintani’s most significant exhibition was at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2019.

This artist has interactive materials which will be provided in the RWM swag bag in order to interact with their virtual content. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the Neuroelastic installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all ticket purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.


Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact for accommodation.

The Anatomy of a Home

The Anatomy of a Home


A line drawing of a two-storey house on the top half of the page and a bee with its wings spread on the bottom half of the page.

Lead Artist: Saba Akhtar

The Anatomy of A Home is a multi-media installation exploring a person’s relationship to home. Audiences are invited to walk through a blueprint of a house etched into the floor and observe the artifacts placed within. This is part of a larger performance project that explores Saba’s relationships to home and isolation, in her past and during COVID-19.

Special Thanks: Tijiki Morris & Jules Voderak-Hunter

Saba Akhtar is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto and raised in Houston, Texas. Her arts practice is focused on intergenerational trauma and grief. She exhibits this through multimedia design (installation, video, photo), playwriting and performance. Saba’s education has been heavily influenced by mentorship from peers and elders in her community. She has a deep passion for helping others share their story as well and has established a career in community-engaged arts as a facilitator and mentor in multiple organizations.



Images of the The Anatomy of a Home installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.


Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact for accommodation.


Hindsight: A National Film Board of Canada retrospective

Hindsight: A National Film Board of Canada retrospective

  • Streaming for free on VUCAVU ( from October 13-27
  • Virtual panel - This panel is pre-recorded and available for free on the same webpage as the films

Streaming of this film and virtual panel is available to viewers worldwide.


ASL Interpreted, Open Captions, Active Listener

Various artists / 110 min


Film is a storytelling format that can splice directly into a person’s awareness of something. Yet in hindsight, when has the medium showcased the sensitive and nuanced topics of mental health and/or addiction?

Hindsight is a short film retrospective that traverses the topic of mental health and addiction within the National Film Board’s extensive archive. This co-presented program looks back almost seventy years to dynamically highlight a spectrum of stories and filmmaking techniques. Films sampled from the archive include Breakdown (1951), a fictitious film about a seemingly well-adjusted young woman who’s schizophrenic episode has landed her in a modern mental hospital. The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan (1978), a portrait documentary depicting the life of Jimmy Quinlan, one of an estimated 5000men who struggled with addiction in the alleys of late 1970s Montreal. Street Kids (1985), a succession of montaged black and white photographs voiced over to reveal a glance into juvenile prostitution. Nowhere Land (2015), a documentary narrated by Inuit Bonnie Ammaaq and her family tells their faint memories of attempting to live while the government-manufactured community of Igloolik becomes an elegy for Indigenous displacement and mental health. XO RAD MAGIQUE (2019) is an animated video work both psychedelic and hypnotic in nature, that takes you on an abstract journey living with schizophrenia in daily life.



Accompanying this NFB retrospective is a pre-recorded video interview with local Toronto artists Katelyn Gallucci, Greg Mccarthy and Derek Coulombe. In conversation, the artists will discuss the activity of looking back. How do the films bring up feelings of hindsight? How do we navigate these feelings? Why do we as artists sample from archives? Why is it important to create discussions around archival material?