Event Category: Screening

Tale of The Sea

A person wearing a long coat, walking on the shore by the water, with a large flock of gulls flying low to the water

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.

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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!

Afie Mardukhi, Moderator
Ali Saeedi, Filmmaker
Aref Mohammadi, Filmmaker
Kamran Bordbar, Psychiatrist

Irene’s Ghost

Still from Irene's Ghost, with a bride dressed in a white gown and veil, holding a pink and white bouqet and standing in front of a stone wall

Closing Night Film
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.

Screening with
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days
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.

Paula John, Moderator
Iain Cunningham, Director
Rimsha, Panelist
Wendy Porch, ED at Centre for Independent Living Toronto

If You Ask Me (IYAM)

Six people sitting on the edge of a stage; three people are holding microphones and all are looking towards one person with a microphone held up to their face

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.

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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!

James Knott, IYAM filmmaker
Saba Acktar, IYAM filmmaker
Morgan Sears-Williams, CFMDC representative
Cara Spooner, Workman Arts representative
Erum Khan, IYAM filmmaker
Julianne Ess, IYAM filmmaker

Retrospekt (Retrospect)

Opening screen for Retrospekt (Retrospect), with an out of focus person pushing aside a pale blue curtain

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?

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Kabul, City in the Wind

Two children sitting on a flat rooftop overlooking a hilly city landscape

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.

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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 guests and experts who have lived experience and who work within a trauma informed lens.

Erum Khan, Moderator
Aisha Jamal, Panelist
Ahmad Hematyar, President of Canadian Newcomer & Immigration Association

Junha’s Planet

A group of children in an interior hallway facing away from the camera - one child has their arm around a shorter child

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.

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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?

Geoff Pevere, Moderator
Esther Rhee, National Program Director of Autism Speaks Canada
Azed Majeed, Parent & Autism Activist


Two people in near-darkness with the subtitle "Some of them got help"

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.

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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.

Geoff Pevere, Moderator
James Cantor, Psychologist and sex researcher


Title screen for "Bedlam" in block letters on a greyish background with the Sundance Film Festival logo in white at the top right

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.

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A person in the centre of a large round lobby with a circular design on the floor

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.

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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.

الصنف: وثائقي
الموضوع: الهجرة ، البقاء ، الصدمة ، قضايا المرأة
النوع: فيلم

يروي فيلم “فوضى” الحائز على جائزة الفهد الذهبي في مهرجان لوكارنو السينمائي لعام 2018 قصة ثلاث نساء في ثلاث مدن، متساءلاّّ عن تأثير الحرب على الروح الإنسانية. بينما يتم الكشف عن القصص الشخصية لهؤلاء النساء السوريات بحميمّية، يشهد “فوضى” على وجود الناجين المجروح. تعيش امرأة في دمشق وتقضي أيامها في صمت وهي تحدّ على ابنها المراهق. امرأة أخرى هربت من البلاد إلى قرية سويدية حيث تتعامل مع الصدمة عن طريق الرسم. والمرأة الثالثة هي سارة فتاحي مخرجة الفيلم والتي تعيش الآن في فييّنا، تم تصويرها على الشاشة من قبل ممثلة بينما تعبر مقتطفات من مقابلة إذاعية مع المؤلف النمساوي إنجبورغ باخمان عن مشاعرها الأعمق. تستكشف فتاحي محيط النساء المباشر باهتمام مماثل بالتفاصيل – تتحدث إلينا البنية الداخلية للأماكن وتهمس الريح عن دلالات ويصبح المطر ملموساّّ. تقوم فتاحي بخداع حواسنا وبذلك تجذبنا إلى عمليات الحزن العميق والانسحاب الداخلي.

GETMAD#: انضم إلى الحديث
النزوح وأزمة اللاجئين السوريين

كيف يؤثر النزوح على المصابين بأمراض الصحة النفسية وكيف تظهر حالات الصحة النفسية نتيجة النزوح؟ بعد أن نستعرض فيلم فوضى” سنكرّس بعض الوقت لمناقشة أزمة اللاجئين السوريين وكيف تتقاطع هذه الأزمة العالمية مع النوع الاجتماعي وتشخيصات الصحة النفسية وأهمية مشاركة القصص المتعلقة بها.

My Soul Drifts Light upon a Sea of Trees

Ittetsu Nemoto seated cross legged on the wooden floor of an open outdoor structure

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.

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Screening with

Ancestral Landscapes
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.