I met Margot on the balcony of a condo party over 2 years ago. After a few wobbly pops we fell into a pretty in-depth discussion about our respective personal problems. I had been dealing with a year of chronic pain (resolved now!) and her, schizophrenia since she was 18. Schizophrenia was not something that I knew a lot about. If I had known people affected by schizophrenia they never divulged, so I found myself with only a half-hearted idea of what it entails - a picture painted by the media and casual, uninformed conversation. Margot’s experience fascinated me. It was the first glimpse I had into a world I knew nothing about. Margot spoke her insights with a very impressive display of maturity and reflexivity. With confidence she stated that she wanted to meet other people affected by similar conditions and share her story, hoping to help people get through difficult times similar to those she had to overcome herself.

I had been connected to Chloe, a tenacious creative with an impressive aptitude for words and numbers, through the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival scene. I quickly found out that her and Margot had known each other since they were 8 (as she was now on the balcony too). It was decided then that the 3 of us would start capturing Margot’s story as a message of hope.

Two years later and I feel like my mind has been opened to an expansive world of challenges, uncertainty, acceptance, determination and fortitude. Our mission has always been to break down stereotypes and help erase the stigma associated with mental illness. We hope that you’ll join us in supporting our brothers and sisters (and anyone who identifies otherwise!) around the world who could really use an open-ear, a smile or a hug and a better understanding of the challenges that we may not be familiar with.

- Jake 

Alex Contini