The Workman Arts Theatre has stairs up from the street into the building and into the theatre and stairs down to the washrooms.
Films: 50 min / Panel Discussion: 60 min
GENRE: SHORT FILM
Get Mad: IYAM shorts and 1-on-1 Professional Development talks
For the third consecutive year, If You Ask Me (IYAM) has supported emerging filmmakers with mental health and/or addiction experiences to create new work. This constantly evolving program has grown to follow the needs of the filmmakers and RWM is very excited to be showing four new short films in 2019 by Saba Akhtar, Julianne Ess, Erum Khan and James Knott.
These filmmakers have worked under the guidance of mentor Fallon Andy and have been working at Trinity Square Video over the summer months to develop new short films. Each year these artists have been commissioned to create longer works to be shared in the festival and next year they will graduate into becoming mentors for a new generation of filmmakers looking to share their mental health stories through film.
1-on-1 advice for Young Filmmakers & Professionals
The IYAM participants are emerging arts leaders who are interested in giving back to their communities. Join the filmmakers as they engage in intimate conversations along with representatives from professional filmmaking organizations as they offer advice, talk through ideas, give feedback and, most importantly, meet other young filmmakers who are looking to share their stories through film!
With support from CAMH’s Youth Engagement Initiative and the National Youth Action Council
Aboozar Amini / 2018 / Dari and Pashto with English Subtitles / Netherlands, Afghanistan, Japan, Germany / 88 min
In this subtle and beautiful documentary portrait, first time feature film director Aboozar Amini captures the everyday lives of 12-year old Afshin and his younger brother Benjamin alongside bus driver Abas. The three subjects of this subtle portrait of Kabul take us on a journey of their daily lives where war is omnipresent. Amini’s gentle camerawork gives us time to witness the intricacies of life in Kabul where dust appears as a main “character” in the film. Kabul, City in the Wind unfolds via intimate direct interviews with the subjects and observations of daily routines: in between the markets and helicopters buzzing, Abas’s bus keeps breaking down and Afshin becomes head of the household when their father, a former soldier, unexpectedly has to go to Iran. Kabul, a city that is mostly known for war and death, is presented lovingly as home for those who strive for a better tomorrow.
Trauma & Addiction in Kabul
Kabul, City in the Wind is an intimate and heartbreaking look at families affected by war and trauma in Kabul. We will take time after the film to process and discuss our impressions and responses with a series of guests and experts who have lived experience within a trauma informed lens.
Trista Suke and Ellis Poleyko / 2018 / Canada / 60 mins / Toronto Premiere
Hair is just keratin protein and dead skin cells. Yet beauty standards today and historically have made hair and its appearance a signifier of status. When you are dissatisfied with the state of your hair, each hair care advertisement is a microaggression advocating anything but otherness.
Foxy is a spunky film that debunks the social stigma surrounding alopecia universalis by interweaving a scripted memoir of director Trista Suke’s personal story with direct-to-camera interviews highlighting people from the community who are also living with hair loss. In flirty fashion, the fictional character Penny Todd tracks a journey of ultimate self acceptance and what it’s like to live as a beautifully bald woman.
Consent Is… The Freedom to Choose
Lucy Drumonde | 2019 | Canada | 1 min | Canadian Premiere
In public or private the ethics of informed consent acknowledges the human right to choose.
Isolation by Ann Bekooy
Ann Bekooy | 2019 | Canada | 8 mins | Toronto Premiere
Through a dreamscape of surreal images, artist Ann Bekooy poetically narrates the universal but somehow alienating condition of existence.
Animating Artists’ Health (Shorts Program)
Canada | 19 mins
Animating Artists’ Health features short animations exploring artists’ health and wellbeing. This program is a product of Artist Health Alliance’s Creating Artists’ Health initiative. Featuring shorts by M.C Cruz, Shelton Deverell, Nikole Hidalgo McGregor, Ess Joelle Okemow, Raoul Olou, David Rendall, and Tommy Truong.
We will be welcoming the range of filmmakers who are showing work as part of this screening to celebrate and reflect on the power of sharing their stories through film. What is it about the medium of film that has called each of these artists to create these works and how has it empowered them to reveal their vulnerable depths to themselves, audiences and each other?
Sara Fattahi / 2018 / Arabic and German with English Subtitles / Austria, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar / 95 min / Toronto Premiere
Winner of the Golden Leopard Award at the 2018 Locarno Film Festival, Chaos tells the story of three women in three cities and asks: what’s the effect of war on the human spirit? As the personal stories of these Syrian women are intimately revealed, Chaos bears witness to the scarred existence of survivors. One woman lives in Damascus, spending her days in silence as she grieves for her teenage son. Another has fled the country to a Swedish village, where she’s coping with traumas by painting. The third woman is Sara Fattahi herself, Chaos’ director, who now lives in Vienna. She’s portrayed on-screen by an actor, while excerpts from a radio interview with the Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann give expression to Fattahi’s innermost feelings. Fattahi explores the women’s immediate surroundings with equal attention to detail; interiors speak to us, the winds whisper clues and the rain is tangible. Beguiling our senses, Fattahi draws us into the processes of profound grief and inner disengagement.
Displacement and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
How does displacement affect those living with mental health conditions and how are mental health conditions a result of displacement? As we look at the film Chaos, we will take time to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis and how this global crisis intersects with gender, mental health diagnoses and the importance of sharing these stories.
Bahman Farmanara / 2018 / Farsi with English Subtitles / Iran / 97 min
This delicate and quiet film, part family drama part homage to older Iranian artists, comes from veteran director Bahman Farmanara. Taher Mohebi, a well-known writer, breaks down after witnessing a violent murder and spends three years in a mental institution. After his release Taher is told that things are just as they were before, but his relentless hallucinations make him want to return to the institution. This film is dedicated to Abbas Kiarostami and affectionately displays the late master’s understanding of complex human relationships.
Mental Health and Film in Iranian Canadian Communities
For over a decade, the Intercultural Iranian Canadian Resource Centre (I2CRC) and Rendezvous with Madness have collaborated to present Iranian films that explore mental health and addiction issues as well as host post-show discussions and beautiful pre-show receptions. This year is no exception as we close the festival with Iranian food, conversation, and of course, films!
Yolande Zauberman / 2018 / Yiddish, Hebrew, English with English Subtitles / France / 115 min / Ontario Premiere
Menahem Lang is an Israeli actor with a tragic past. He was raped as a child by several older men from his own community. Lang grew up in the Haredi sect, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community known for its theological conservatism. After confronting one of his abusers, Lang left his hometown of Bnei Brak and hasn’t been back until now. In M, Lang returns to face his community, his trauma and to seek justice. But more than anything, Lang ends up finding other survivors. Shooting her film entirely at night, director Yolande Zauberman follows Lang as he runs into multiple strangers on the streets of his old neighborhood where they all confess the same thing – they were also sexually abused as children by older men in the community. Through many candid interviews in M we learn that child molestation is rampant in their community, turning the abused into abusers in a vicious circle of sexual violence.
Extended Panel: Childhood Sexual Abuse & Recovery
Join us for an extended discussion following the screening of the documentary M, as we are joined by specialists who work in trauma informed care, childhood sexual abuse and sexuality studies. We will sensitively discuss the realities and impacts of (early) sexual abuse, the complexities of finding treatment and the journey of recovery in the context of observant communities as well as in more secular contexts.
Hyung-sook Hong / 2018 / Korean with English Subtitles / South Korea / 108 min / Canadian Premiere
Junha is a 4th grader who doesn’t make friends easily. Afraid he will attack or spit on them, his classmates keep their distance. Junha’s teachers spend most of their time with Junha trying to discipline him or simply understand why he behaves the way he does. But Junha lives on the Autism spectrum: he has little to no control over his impulses. Concerned parents of Junha’s peers question whether he should be educated in the same environment as their kids. While the school advocates for Autism awareness and encourages children to support Junha, many lose their patience. Including Junha. Junha’s Planet is a quiet and powerful observational documentary that addresses some of the most pressing issues at the intersection of disability and education.
Autism in Ontario
After experiencing Junha’s Planet and the realities of autism education in South Korea, join a panel of educators, parents and advocates to discuss the current state of autism spectrum disorder support in Ontario. How can we support those living on the spectrum as well as the families and educators here at home?
Beryl Magoko / 2018 / German and Swahili with English Subtitles / Germany, Kenya / 90 min / Toronto Premiere
Director Beryl Magoko underwent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a child. Unlike many of her peers, she wasn’t forced into it. Feeling pressured by societal expectations, Beryl went through FGM behind her mother’s back. Nobody told her about the pain, guilt and trauma that would follow her into adulthood. Years later, Beryl learns that her FGM can be reversed with the help of reconstructive surgery. But after everything she has been through, she’s hesitant to make a decision. “Will I be making another terrible mistake?” In her documentary account, Beryl is searching for an answer. She asks other women who survived FGM about their experiences and thoughts on reconstructive surgery. By frontlining these stories, Beryl processes her trauma and exposes the extreme misogynist ideologies behind FGM.
Erika MacPherson, Katherena Vermette | 2016 | Canada | 19 min
Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette offer an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for loved ones who have disappeared. Born out of the need to do something, their stories ignite a relationship between resilience and activism.
Q&A with Beryl Magoko
Following the screening of In Search…, join the filmmaker (who is also the subject of the documentary) Beryl Magoko as she discusses working on the film which recounts her journey with reconstructive surgery after surviving Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a child.
Esther Rots / 2018 / Dutch and Flemish with English Subtitles / Netherlands, Belgium / 101 min
Retrospect is a chaotic puzzle of an unreliable narrator’s memories, anarchic bursts of punk music, sporadic and shredded timeline. And yet, in the heart of the story are Mette and her so-called ‘perfect’ nuclear family. Mette (Circé Lethem) is a domestic violence support worker, and the film starts with her intervening in a violent and abusive altercation involving a strange young couple on vacation. It then jumps to a family dinner where Mette confronts her husband, who clearly doesn’t equate the importance of her career to his. After this uncomfortable scene, back to the future and Mette in the hospital following a catastrophic accident. She’s now in a wheelchair and has no recollection of preceding events. Gradually, Mette starts remembering how she invited Lee (Lien Wildemeersch), a client, to escape an abusive partner by moving in. The arrangement soon explodes, Mette’s flashbacks offering only vague clues to the calamity. But who is really to blame for Mette’s downfall?
Heinrich Dahms / 2018 / Japanese with English Subtitles / Netherlands, Japan / 93 min / North American Premiere
After losing an uncle and two friends to suicide, Zen Buddhist Ittetsu Nemoto made it his life’s work to support individuals struggling with depression and suicidal ideation. Despite cultural taboos from a temple in the high mountains of central Japan, Ittetsu Nemoto takes a community-focused, holistic approach to healing trauma. My Soul Drifts Light Upon a Sea of Trees inscribes the journey and mission of Nemoto as he helps three people find life after limbo. As each person candidly reveals their story of what the edge of life felt like, a therapeutic effect transfixes the audience. With this remarkable film, a quiet plea for a radical shift in the way we think about suicide is heard.
Rick Miller | 2019 | Canada | 15 mins | World Premiere
From the traditional territories of the Micmac Nation of Gespeg to the small town of Gaspé, Québec, director Rick Miller reveals to the audience his family’s lineage and how it has defined and illuminated his relationship with mental health.
My Soul Drifts with Ittetsu Nemoto
Join us for a discussion with the subject of My Soul Drifts Light Upon a Sea of Trees. Internationally known Buddhist priest Ittetsu Nemoto will be joining us via Skype to talk about his life’s mission to provide space and time for those who live with depression.