back home



back home follows the filmmaker’s pursuit to get to know her older brother, Josh, twenty years after he took his own life. As she connects with the friends who knew him best as a teen, a complex portrait emerges. Through intimate recollections re-imagined on Super8 and 16mm, and lyrical images hand-processed with plants, seaweed, soil and ashes, back home floats between memory and present time in a fragmented meditation on identity, grief and loss: illuminating the transformative power of healing in community.


It is my pleasure to share my first feature film, “back home,” with you. I was 11 years old when Josh’s death forever changed our family and shifted my perspective on the value of closeness and the impact broader society can have on a young mind. “Back home”’s unique handmade quality recalls the photochemical processes I found solace in during my teenage years when I took refuge in the high school darkroom. The abstract film images represent the changing chemistry of Josh’s brain, as well as illustrating my physical pain – a manifest form of grief.

Screening with Short Film

White Noise | Tamara Scherbak | Canada | Drama | 2023 | 18 minutes | English with open captions

White Noise follows Ava, who suffers from misophonia – an extreme hyper-sensitivity to sound. When this reaches new terrifying heights, her doctor enrolls her in an experimental trial involving an anechoic chamber: the world’s quietest room.

Opening Night Film
Friday, October 27, 2023

CAMH Auditorium
1025 Queen St W, Toronto
Reception 5 PM | Box office: 5:30 | Film 6:30 PM

Get Tickets

Reception at 5 PM

In person screening — Thursday October 27th at 6:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema,
506 Bloor Street West

Available across Canada Oct 27, 6:30 PM – 12 midnight ET only;
available across Ontario, Oct 27, 6:30 PM until November 6

Marusya Syroechkovskaya | 2022 | Sweden, Norway, France, Germany | 103 minutes | Russian with English subtitles | Ontario Premiere


On October 27th enjoy Rendezvous With Madness opening night film How To Save A Dead Friend by Marusya Syroechkovskaya.  Filmed over the course of 12 years, this film is a personal cry from the heart and a message from a silenced generation. It is an unbreakable love story existing in a destructible world. Post Film talk featuring the director.

How To Save A Dead Friend, it’s 2005, and Russia is governed by leaders who are keen to uplift their authoritarian dream. Millennial suicides have become omnipresent — a last act of self-will among a generation denied the chance to envision a better future. Marusya, 16, has decided this will be her year to die.

Muzzled by the increasingly autocratic regime of the “Depression Federation,” Marusya decides to join her generation’s suicide statistics by the end of the year. Then, she meets Kimi and an unexpected love story begins between the two millennials caught in the undertow of their oppressive government. Together, Marusya and Kimi film the euphoria, anxiety and despair of their youth, burning the candle at both ends fueled by drugs and music. When Kimi’s addiction threatens to make him fade away forever, Marusya’s camera becomes her last chance to save some part of his fragile soul.

For accessibility How To Save A Dead Friend is also available online via Workman Arts & Cinesend from October 27, 8 PM – 12 AM ET across Canada; October 28 – November 6 in Ontario

Keywords:  Suicide | Addiction | Authoritarianism | Youth | Depression
Genre: Documentary
#RWMFEST #MoreThanRebellion

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

The Suicide Key

The Suicide Key

Illustration of a close up of a skeleton key hole with a white line silouette with a feminine face. The background is white with snudges and droplets of ink.
Image Design: Gabriella Okuda
  • Wednesday November 2, 7:30 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Laura Piccinin / 2022 / English / Canada / 30 minutes

Asha and her best friend sit together in a tense familiarity and plan, in detail, the end of Asha’s life. She has suffered for decades, unable to be treated, despite truly valiant efforts to be well. Her best friend, conflicted between her belief in the right to die with dignity and her increasing desire to save a life, has become integral to carrying out the suicide plot. The Suicide Key infuses a sense of dark humour to comment on the absurdity of living with severe mental illness, and the complex and difficult decisions to be made surrounding life, death, and the pursuit of an acceptable happiness.

Laura Piccinin was born to tell stories. Whether as a dancer/aerialist with Tokyo Disney, a playwright and performer for the new Canadian musical Every Silver Lining or her solo shows LESBIHONEST and The Suicide Key, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board, or as a comédienne in Footloose with Just for Laughs, Laura’s unstoppable passion in life lies in telling people all sorts of eccentric stories — whether they want to hear them or not.

Creator and Performer: Laura Piccinin
Dramaturg: Cass Van Wyck
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Subject matter: Medical assistance in dying (and the right to die with dignity).
Keywords: Alcoholism | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Trauma | Suicide
Talkback following performance.
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

The Flin Flon Cowboy Cabaret

The Flin Flon Cowboy Cabaret

  • Saturday October 29, 5 PM;
  • Tuesday November 1, 7 PM;
  • Thursday November 3, 7 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Flin Flon Cowboy Collective / 2022 / English / Canada / 60 minutes

The Flin Flon Cowboy is a new musical created and performed by Ken Harrower. This cabaret  presentation centres around Ken’s life, his mysterious origins in Flin Flon, Manitoba, his experiences as a child with a disability in the Winnipeg foster care system, and his adventures in Toronto searching for connections in the gay community while creating a life as an artist. The story touches on issues of consent, sexuality, queerness, mental health, addiction, forgiving others and one’s self, and moving forward with accountability. Ken shares his experience with addiction and mental health with honesty, integrity and grit. He does not shy away from the dark and difficulties that come with being a gay disabled person navigating this world.

Ken Harrower is an award-winning film and theatre actor. His recent work includes Boys in Chairs (Summerworks – Winner of the John Kaplan Spotlight Award) and What Dream it Was (Dora nomination – Outstanding Ensemble 2017). He starred in the short film Hole (Canadian Screen Award 2015) and Luk’ Luk’i (TIFF 2017 – Winner of Best Canadian First Feature). Ken graduated from The Toronto Film School and has collaborated with ARTS4ALL and Jumblies Theatre as an actor and choir member. Ken identifies as a member of the disabled community and the LGBTQ community, advocating for equal rights and freedoms for those communities.

Created and Performed by Ken Harrower
Written by Ken Harrower and Erin Brandenburg
Music by Ken Harrower and Johnny Spence
Narrated by Xavier Lopez * appears courtesy of CAEA
Directed by Erin Brandenburg
Musical Direction by Johnny Spence
Dramaturgy by Debbie Patterson
Lighting Design by Echo Zhou
Set/Costume Design by Michelle Tracey
Additional Set Design Elements by Sonja Rainey
Sound Design by Johnny Spence
Stage Management by Nazerah Carlisle
Video Design by Kejd Kuqo
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Keywords: Addiction | Disability | Depression | LGBT2S+ | Suicide
There will be a talkback following each performance.
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion



Student Protestors Carrying Posters

Oct 29 – Nov 7 available across Canada

Available with the film


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.


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
Cinema Politica

Images Festival - what is erased occasionally returns as a ghost

Images Festival - what is erased occasionally returns as a ghost

We are excited to co-present the program “what is erased occasionally returns as a ghost” at the 2021 Images Festival. This year, Images Festival is FREE online via live-stream at from May 20-26, 2021.

“what is erased occasionally returns as a ghost” features works by Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, Ruth Höflich, Vika Kirchenbauer, Kamila Kuc, and Laida Lertxundi. The program will screen on Sunday, May 23 at 8:00 PM EDT with a Q & A to follow with the artists moderated by Bojana Stancic. Co-presented with 8fest, Canadian Film Institute, and Workman Arts/Rendezvous With Madness.

Images Festival Logo


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Singapore Mental Health Film Festival - Land of Not Knowing

Singapore Mental Health Film Festival - Land of Not Knowing

D: Steve Sanguedolce / 2016 / English / RATING: NC-17 / Canada / 71 min




We are thrilled to co-present Land of Not Knowing at the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival. The film and accompanying talk will be available to screen within Canada.

In this bold new experimental documentary, four artists talk about suicide: the role the recurring thought has played in their life and art, the struggle to understand and overcome the impulse, and the ongoing confrontation with a form of stigma that renders the very concept of suicide as a kind of pariah even among mental health issues and discussions. With a frankness that is both bracing and illuminating, Sanguedolce’s subjects tell their stories, and the filmmaker responds with a striking visual scheme that permits us something rarely attempted in the engagement with this most misunderstood of conditions: a sense of first person understanding.

The film is accompanied by a panel discussion: “Suicide: Can talk or not?” on May 27, at 8:00 PM Singapore time (8:00 AM ET) A total of 400 suicides were recorded in Singapore in 2019, with youths aged 10 to 29 representing a significant portion of this figure. Despite general consensus on the need to curb and prevent suicide, many of us find ourselves not knowing how to approach this seeming delicate topic:

How do we talk about suicide? Are there signs to it?
Will asking about suicide compel one to act on it?
What are the psychological and sociological causes of suicide?

This panel conversation will explore what goes on in the mind of an individual contemplating suicide, and learn about possible signs and symptoms. We will also share ways in which we can reach out to suicidal individuals, and how we can talk about suicide in a safe and appropriate manner. Additionally, the panel will highlight the importance of looking at suicide beyond the individual, and to understand its larger socio-cultural influences. This panel will also examine the impact of suicide on those who are left behind – and how we can support these ‘suicide survivors’.

The High Commission of Canada logo
Canada Council for the Arts logo


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.