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2007 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Rendezvous with Madness celebrates its 15th groundbreaking year

The Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival presented by Workman Arts launches its 15th annual edition this week on November 8. Twenty themed programs, composed of shorts and feature films, examining the facts and mythology surrounding mental health and addiction, will be presented during the festival. The groundbreaking works promise to be thought provoking and redefine “normal.”

Workman Arts, a not-for-profit professional arts company working in partnership with, and located in, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), together with its artist members, promote greater understanding of mental illness and addiction through film, theatre, painting, music and the literary arts.

The 10-day long festival, co-sponsored by CAMH, offers post-screening panel discussions involve filmmakers, artists and people with professional and personal experience with mental illness and addiction.

The program on opening night of this year’s festival is Desperately Seeking Normal. The evening begins with Robert Hofmeyer’s short titled, “The Dune Runner,” followed by Canadian Carl Bessai’s feature, “Normal,” starring Carrie Anne Moss. After the films, CAMH’s Dr. Kwame McKenzie, Senior Scientist in Social Equity and Health, Medical Director of Diversity and Mental Health, and Senior Clinician in the Schizophrenia Program, will interview Carl Bessai.

Other highlights of the festival include the program for November 14, titled, Family Portraits. Chris Summerville, interim CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and a Board Member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, will moderate the discussion after the Canadian premiere of the feature film, “Canvas.”

Through the Lens: Student Program begins at 4:00 pm on November 17 showcases new and emerging filmmakers who have created new works using various film formats and techniques. With the support of Trinity Square Video, Workman Arts commissioned four of its artists to create new short films for the 15th anniversary. Jordan Stone, Jason Hall, TK Workman, and Monika Szopinska capture on video their perspective of the “Madness in T.O.”

Monika has been a Workman Artist for almost two years and has participated in photography, theatre, visual arts, as well as, filmmaking programming. Her short, “Refuge,” captures the challenges and realities faced by a social worker in Regent Park whose clients have mental health and addictions issues.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to learn and explore filmmaking in a supportive environment with the assistance of professional staff and equipment. Working in this format was challenging and it provided a reality check for me. I really appreciate what goes into filmmaking,” said Monika of her experience making this short.

The 15th Annual Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival runs November 8-17, 2007. For more information or for tickets to any of the Rendezvous with Madness programs, call 416 583-4339 or click here for box office details.

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