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
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?
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.
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.
Iain Cunningham / 2018 / UK / 82 min / Canadian Premiere
Irene’s Ghost is a stunning 6-years-in-the-making documentary that follows a son’s search to find out about the mother he never knew. Cunningham breaks the silence and tracks down his mother’s friends and family to rebuild a picture of her. Cunningham was three when his Mother Irene died. His Father never spoke of it and the family’s silence around Irene meant that she was alive only in Cunningham’s imagination as a thistle seed or in the image of the moon. The birth of his own child inspires a journey to discover the truth about Irene, piecing together fragments of the past to make sense of the present. Utilizing gorgeous animation alongside moving archival footage, Irene’s Ghost lovingly rebuilds Irene’s lost life.
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days
Regina Pessoa | 2019 | Canada | 13 mins | Toronto Premiere
Regina Pessoa’s latest animation beautifully illustrates her childhood memories of her charming and idiosyncratic uncle. This film is a testament of Pessoa’s love and admiration for her uncle’s unique spirit.
How does talking about (or not talking about) post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis impact women and families? After the screening of Irene’s Ghost, we will explore the complicated layers of how post-partum disorders are understood and felt personally as well as culturally through first hand experiences from women and professionals in discussion with the filmmaker.
Kenneth Paul Rosenberg / 2019 / USA / 84 min / Canadian Premiere
Haunted by the death of his sister Merle, psychiatrist Kenneth Paul Rosenberg takes on the role of documentary filmmaker to examine a national health crisis in the US. Bedlam follows personal stories of people living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other chronic mental health issues with a television-style precision. Bedlam describes the deinstitutionalization triggers pulled in the mid- and late 20th century (which occurred in Canada as well) to create this ‘bedlam’ on an inter/national scale. Created over the course of five years, Bedlam takes us inside Los Angeles County’s overwhelmed and vastly under-resourced psychiatric ER; a nearby jail warehousing thousands of patients; and people suffering from severe mental health issues in their homes and homeless encampments, where silence and shame often worsen the suffering.
Talking at Night
Eric Thiessen | 2017 | Canada | 6 mins
Director Eric Thiessen captures behind-the-scenes experiences of Saskatoon’s Mobile Crisis Centre staff as they provide 24/7 crisis resolution to people in distress.
De-institutionalization On Both Sides Of The Border
How has de-institutionalization shaped Toronto? Have we fared any better in the practice of de-institutionalization than our US counterparts? The history of de-institutionalization in our city has led to the Mad Pride movement, shaped the neighbourhood of Parkdale (and others in the GTA) and continues to alter hospital emergency rooms, shelter systems and community-based harm reduction centres. In witnessing how the United States systems have been affected in the documentary Bedlam, we will use this film as a counterpoint to reflect on where we have been and where we are going here at home.