MENTAL ILLNESS AND ADDICTION are fundamental parts of our human experience and they have always been difficult to present and discuss in the public arena. Fear and stigma routinely make accurate representations and presentations next to impossible.
The vehicle through which mental illness and addiction are most often presented publicly is mainstream film. Through these films the public can, in most instances, sit back and watch from a safe distance. Audiences are secure in the belief that they are watching the experiences of others and remain divorced from the realities of society.
“The fever dreams of the movies are an ideal medium to chronicle mental illness.” – Stephen Cole, The Globe and Mail, 2007
Film can also enable new and established artists to visually explore ideas and express stories of mental illness and addiction in ways that are nearly impossible in other artistic media. The technical freedom of film allows for these artists to challenge perceptions of reality and to express the truth of mental illness and addiction.
“..the festival showcases edgy, thought provoking…films that explore mental health and addiction issues from a multitude of angles.” – Sherri Wood, Toronto Sun 2004
RWM explores these cinematic representations and hosts panel discussions after each screening. The films are the art, the discussion gives them perspective.
About Workman Arts
Workman Arts is an arts and mental health company known internationally for its artistic collaborations, presentations, knowledge exchange, best practices, and research in the area of the impact of the arts on the quality of life of people living with mental illness and addiction.
Workman Arts facilitates aspiring, emerging and established artists with mental illness and addiction issues to develop and refine their art form through its arts training programs, public performance/exhibit opportunities and partnering with other art organizations. As well, Workman Arts promotes a greater public understanding of mental illness and addiction through the creation, presentation and discussion of the artistic media.