RENDEZVOUS IN THE CLASSROOM: FIILM SCREENINGS

“I have seen many mental health presentations and this is by far the best one”

~ Golnar Zia, Teacher, East York Alternative Secondary School

Rendezvous in the Classroom Film Screenings is a program of film(s) and panel discussion designed for presentation in high schools, with the purpose of stimulating interest in mental health issues. The students see films that deal with mental health and addiction, followed by discussion that includes one of the filmmakers, a mental health professional, and youth with actual experience of mental illness or addiction.

The films are curated with input from On tario youth with and without mental illness from a pool of films that have been submitted to the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival.

For school bookings please contact Workman Arts Media Arts Manager: Matthew Hogue at 416 583 4339 x 8

Filmmakers Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson present Finding Kind, 2011

“I enjoyed watching the films. I liked that they were real and touched on topics we need.”

~Student

“I learned how much mental illness can affect families.”

~ Student

 

 

RENDEZVOUS IN THE CLASSROOM 2011

Finding Kind, 2010, 76 min


Finding Kind

Synopsis

Mean girls: they’re not just celluloid villains created by Hollywood writers to entertain audiences. Girl-to-girl bullying is a real problem and much worse than most people realize. Fueled by jealousy, rage, frustration, and peer pressure the emotional and psychological trauma inflicted on a daily basis seems to be getting worse. In Finding Kind, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson travel across the United States to confront the problem head on.

Shaped by their own painful bullying experiences, Lauren and Molly seek out girls just like them, who have had to overcome the trauma of bullying, and back stabbing. Shockingly, these women are all too easy to find, and the same stories emerge across the country – girls who have been profoundly hurt by people they considered friends, scarred by people they loved. It’s hard to imagine that a problem this large has gone overlooked for so long, but the intimate and personal nature of the stories overwhelmingly drives the point home.

Full of moments of revelation, shock, heartbreak, and forgiveness, Finding Kind isn’t your average documentary; rather, it’s the beginning of a movement, a living and evolving awareness, spreading its message of compassion and understanding with the end goal of ending all the unnecessary hurt and pain.

Filmmaker

Lauren Parsekian graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Television and Film Production. At 22 years old, she decided to pick up a camera and start a dialogue about bullying within female friendships. Finding Kind is her directorial debut.

 

RENDEZVOUS IN THE CLASSROOM ARCHIVE

 

Alice or Life in Black and White

 

Alice or Life in Black and White, 2006, 15 min

Synopsis

In this touching and thoughtful look at eating disorders, Alice is a young girl in trouble. Poised on the threshold of womanhood, she has retreated into a world of black and white. Her parents don’t realize that as their relationship falls apart, so does their daughter. And when an event at school betrays her secret, her parents will have to put their own issues aside to save her.

Filmmaker

Sophie Schoukens started her career as a stage actress in New York. On her return to Europe, she became a film producer and got involved in several award winning international co-productions, such as Hey Stranger, Les aveux de l’innocent and Rosas danst Rosas. She also wrote four of the films she produced: Hey Stranger (winner of Cinéscript d’or for best Belgian screenplay), The Lost Secret of Catharina the Great, Alice and Madeline. Alice or Life in Black and White is her first film as a director. In the meantime, she’s finishing a screenplay for a feature film she plans to direct herself, Marieke, Marieke.

 

The Dune Runner

The Dune Runner, 2004, 3 min

Synopsis

Vuyisile Funda is the dune runner. A former watchman who has suffered a severe beating, he returns home to the eastern cape in South Africa and a life that is familiar. In the mornings when the sand is high enough, Vuyisile runs along the dunes tracing patterns in the sand. A truly wonderful film.

 

Filmmaker

Robert Hofmeyer was born in Johannesburg in 1978 and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. He is currently a computer consultant in Cape Town. The Dune Runner is his first short film.

 

Eaten (Ahul)

Eaten, 2007, 7 min

Synopsis

A film that brings everything from bugs to drugs to the table. Located in an isolated country-based setting, a lonely man is stuck on a lifelong decision to fall into the cold, hard grip of his illness or the equally treacherous pathway of medication and the resulting reality of a mind that is not his own.

Filmmaker

Elad Rath is an advertisement and music video director. His long lost dream was always to make horror and fantasy films. In a country with no industry or market yet explored for horror and fantasy films, Eaten is the first of its kind in Israel. Elad is now writing the first Israeli horror TV film.

 

Elevator

Elevator, 2001, 3 min

Synopsis

In this light-hearted and award winning look at stigma, two men are trapped in an elevator. As the film descends into a panicked hysteria assumptions about mental illness go out the window.

Filmmaker

Park Bench is Canada’s High Artiste and Enfant Terrible! He has been called “brilliant”, “personality gifted”, “striking”, “perfect”, “bizarre” and “obtuse”. One thing is certain, he has worked as a director, writer, actor and producer in the arenas of theatre, film, and television. He is an accomplished singer/songwriter, and now, master of the new media! Park Bench is a founder of the award winning production company Toothin Productions.

 

Gilles’ Lily (La Lili A Gilles)

Gilles' Lily, 2007, 16 min

Synopsis

Young Lily has a foul mouth and a vivid imagination. In her fairytale, her grandfather Gilles’ antique-filled country house is a castle and he is a magician. Gilles unwittingly plays into this fantasy, calling her Princess while Francois, Lily’s father, struggles to face the stark reality of Gilles’ illness and failing memory.

Filmmaker

David Uloth admits that his destiny was set the moment he saw Star Wars when he was six. He was hooked on the magic of capturing and conveying his imagination, images, and ideas to the world around him.

 

Invisible Loneliness

Invisible Loneliness, 2009, 13 min

Synopsis

A richly textured animated tale, this film follows a girl who feels isolation and loneliness when she realizes no one will be home when she realizes no one will be home when she returns from her day.

Filmmaker

Jung-Hsien Lin

 

The Lesson

The Lesson, 2009, 15 min

Synopsis

This short drama examines a troubled family during a chaotic holiday. A single mother, burdened by two alienated teenagers — an angry, violent son whom she favours over her resentful and frustrated daughterdeal with each other and gift-giving during Christmas.

Filmmaker

Amy McConnell

Amy is a Toronto based film & video director who works in both French and English. Known for drawing nuanced and natural performances out of her subjects, Amy’s film “Nigel’s Fingerprint” won the Kodak Award for Best Canadian Short at the Toronto Reel World Film Festival as well the Diploma of Honour at the Rosh’d Film Festival in Tehran and her music video “Crazy Little Girl” for artist Kevin Quain won Best Music Video at the LA FEMME Film Festival.

In addition to her film work, Amy has a background in performing and visual arts which lends both an authenticity and an inviting aesthetic to all her projects.

Recent work includes the short film “The Lesson” presently screening on festival circuit and the very successful “Catherine” Febreze spot, currently airing across Canada and in the USA.

Loonie, 2007, 8 min

Loonie

 

Synopsis

This Toronto-based film presents us with Angel, a woman with paranoid schizophrenia, and Dylan, a teenaged boy. Dylan sees something in Angel that she does not see. Her mental health problem has left her blinded from her past even when it is staring her in the face. This close-to-home film leaves you with a sense of sympathy and a touch of sadness for people caught up in the world of mental health problems.

Filmmaker

With a passion for storytelling, Michelle Nolden is a seasoned ACTRA and Gemini-nominated film and television actor in Canada and the United States. Loonie is Michelle’s writing and directorial debut.

 

Portrait of My Brother as a Young Man

Portrait of My Brother as a Young Man, 2004, 5 min

Synopsis

This short documentary is a touching portrait of the filmmaker’s brother Chris. A talented and prolific artist, Chris’ experience with psychosis infuses almost everything he paints with the probing wisdom of those grappling with questions larger than themselves.

Filmmaker

Matthew Hogue is the Manager of Media Arts for Workman Arts and Program Manager for the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival. Since graduating from Ryerson University with a degree in Film Studies he has worked in film and television and exhibited across the GTA as a visual artist. In addition to Rendezvous with Madness, Matthew is a programmer for the Worldwide Short Film Festival and Trinity Square Video, where he is also a board member.

 

Ryan

Ryan, 2004, 14 min

Synopsis

Ryan, Chris Landreth’s Oscar-winning film, masterfully shows how animation genius NFB’s Ryan Larkin’s life spiraled out of control as he battled his demons and addictions. After 35 years of artistic productivity, plus an Oscar nomination, emotionally-scarred Larkin succumbed to his alcohol-and-drug abuse, family troubles, and money problems by becoming homeless and panhandling for spare change.

Filmmaker Chris Landreth uses vivid, surreal and Dali-esque imagery to tell Larkin’s story while interweaving sequences from the animator’s films.

Filmmaker

Chris Landreth went into animation as a second career after a short stint as an engineer. Now recognized as one of the animation world’s established stars, Landreth as been twice nominated for an Academy Award, winning in 2004 with Ryan, which was eventually honoured with more than 50 awards internationally. He is currently in preproduction of his first feature length film.

 

Tom Hits His Head, 2006, 11 min

Tom Hits His Head

Synopsis

Tom Hits His Head is a comedic look at anxiety disorders and how easily they can take over all aspects of a person’s life. The film is narrated by the main character, Tom, a regular guy who, after hitting his head, experiences symptoms of severe anxiety that get progressively worse. By using interesting film effects and strong imagery to imitate symptoms, Tom Hits His Head allows us to see what it is like to experience intense anxiety and the loss of control that often accompanies it. We are able to understand the severity of what Tom is experiencing—and at the same time are able to laugh at how out of touch he has become from reality.

Filmmaker

Tom Putnam has been recognized as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. He wrote, produced, and directed the short film, Tom Hits His Head—it has played at over 200 international film festivals and has won over 15 major awards, including the Spirit of Slamdance Award at the Slamdance film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at Aspen Shortsfest, the world’s premiere short-film festival.

 

Victor Gazon (Mon Nom est Victor Gazon)

Victor Gazon, 2007, 11 min

Synopsis

Victor Gazon, a relatively happy child of no more than 10, is now facing a problem. He is trying to determine what makes someone want to end their own life. His uncle, and a fellow student have both committed suicide. Victor was told that his uncle had more things in his life that made him sad than things that made him happy. With this simple pro and con approach to the decision of life or death, Victor attempts to see whether he himself should commit suicide. Through the mind of a child the audience can see how difficult it is for an outsider to understand how and why choices of such magnitude are made.

Filmmaker

Montreal-born Patrick Gaze has been involved in the film industry for more than fifteen years. In 1996, he graduated with honors in Film Production at Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School, where he directed the short film “L’absurde aventure de …” He then worked in the advertising and music video milieu, directing and editing hundreds of projects.

In 2005, he came back to fiction with “Exit,” which has had a great career on the national and international film festival circuit. He completed in 2007 Victor Gazon, a witty dramedy renowned for its unique format and approach.