DAN AND MARGOT is the intimate look into the life of a young modern woman struggling to take back the three years of her life that she lost to schizophrenia. With transparency and even humour, we will confront the notion of schizophrenia through a female character-driven portrayal that asks questions about the deep-seated stigmatization of mental illness within our culture and the way in which we all choose to cope with our past, present and future.
Not long ago Margot was haunted by the voices in her head. She was stalked, sexually harassed and tormented by a person who never really existed. For three years this went on, leading Margot into a deep depression until finally she was hospitalized and diagnosed.
Today, Margot is trying to gain back the years she lost during her episodes. She wants four things: to move out of her parent's house, to meet others like herself, to find satisfying work and ultimately to discover love.
As she gets closer to achieving what she wants, she continues to grapple with her illness. Schizophrenia is a life-long condition and the chance of relapsing is ever-present. When we start to see signs of paranoia in Margot involving a new male figure, the line between reality and perception is blurred. We, as filmmakers, can’t help but get entangled in the fear of what lies ahead.
Margot gives a voice to the many relatable stories of mental illness as she demonstrates a person’s right to fail, living with one’s past traumas and hope, the key to human existence.
Running Time: 75 mins
Screening Format: HD/ 5.1 Surround/ 16:9 Color 23.98fps 1920x1080p
Country and Year of Production: Canada 2015
CHLOE SOSA-SIMS, CO-DIRECTOR/ PRODUCER
Chloe Sosa-Sims is a Toronto-based director/ producer whose background spans 10 years across film festivals, markets, distribution/ aggregation companies and production. DAN AND MARGOT is her feature debut, which is currently playing on Super Channel in Canada, selling internationally, and has played a number of festivals around the world.Her projects achieve to engage audiences with social issues inside out- focusing on how the emotional core shapes the world around us.
In 2013, Chloe launched Silence & Space Productions Inc. and today, she co-heads the Toronto chapter of Film Fatales. She also works on a freelance basis doing producing, research & programming. Her previous work includes 5 years as the Industry Programmer at Hot Docs where she launched the popular market event Hot Docs Deal Maker, as well as running various year-round initiatives. She holds a BAH in Film & Media from Queen’s University.
JAKE CHIRICO, CO-DIRECTOR/ DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
6 years of film school and 8 freelancing put a ring on Jake Chirico's marriage between theory and practice. In between steady work as a freelance cinematographer and a camera assistant for Discovery Channel Canada (Exploration Production Inc.) Jake hits the streets with various personal projects. Mental illness, graffiti writing, and HIV/AIDS are subjects he's grown close to as an emerging cinematographer, director, editor and photographer. He is a Canon C100 owner/operator. Extensive experience traveling with camera work (Africa/Asia/Europe/Americas/beyond) has given him a unique perspective on the power of film as a gateway to exploring human nature. Jake's first short documentary premiered at Hot Docs 2010 (The Freshwater Plague) and his feature film debut as a co-director/cinematographer, a portrait of a young woman with schizophrenia shot over 2 years, has been picked up by the Super Channel and will be delivered mid-2015. Jake's experience has helped him develop a unique eye for the unexpected, fluidity in collaboration, strong improvisational abilities, and a dogged work ethic that is consistent on any set. And he's worked with wolves.
HAYA WASEEM, EDITOR
Born in Pakistan and raised in Switzerland, Haya moved to Canada in hopes of pursuing a career in film and television. Since completing Media Arts at Sheridan College in 2012, Haya has had the pleasure of consistently working across various editing platforms, including major corporate campaigns, officially selected short films and three feature length documentaries that have broadcasted in Canada and Beijing, as well as a dramatic feature film for Shaftesbury Films and Telefilm Canada. Haya hopes to continue in the field of editing after Dan & Margot!
LODEWIJK VOS & JOSEPH MURRAY, COMPOSERS
Lodewijk Vos worked as the in-house composer for MTV,Comedy Central and Nickelodeon in Amsterdam before moving to Toronto to work as a freelance composer. He has worked out of San Francisco, New York City and studied with Tom Elmhurst (mixer of Adele, Amy Winehouse, The Black Keys) in Avignon, France.
Joseph Murray graduated with an Honours degree in Music from the University of Guelph where he focused his studies on Music Composition. Covering a wide range of musical styles including Classical, Jazz, Avant Garde, Electronic & Pop, this background allows him to adapt his skills to various projects.
Working together as Menalon, Lodewijk & Joseph have scored, produced, remixed, installed and performed on a wide variety of projects. Commercially, some of the companies they have worked with include: Google, HBO, MTV, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Roots, Advil & The Bay. They’ve scored award winning films that have screened internationally, including: The Weatherman & The Shadowboxer, No Contract, Portrait as a Random Act of Violence and the feature Documentary, The NY Pizza Confessions. The pair have worked on interactive episodes for ENDGAME and Rookie Blue as well as contributed songs to the hit TV series Boundless.
VICTORY SOCIAL CLUB, POST-PRODUCTION TEAM
In Photo: Marcel Ramagnano (Sound), Finlay Braithwaite (Sound), Andres Landau (Post Supervisor), Missing from photo: Zachary Cox (Colour)
Victory Social Club is a multi-disciplinary production and design collective based in Toronto, Canada. We are filmmakers, directors, designers, sound editors, picture editors, animators, and educators.
We produce a wide range of work including, 2D, 3D & stop motion animation, live action and visual effects, motion graphics for film and television as well as graphic design for both print and web.
VSC's work has garnered critical acclaim and industry awards, including an Emmy Award, an American Film Institute Award, several Gemini Awards, a World Photography Organization award, a Genie award, and an Academy Award nomination.
WHERE TO SEE
CANADA/ USA- Available on various platforms:
November 22nd, Thursday: 6:00 PM- TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto, ON) - TBLB Cinema 3
PAST PUBLIC SCREENINGS
February 6th, Saturday: 2:00 PM - Victoria Film Festival (Victoria, BC Canada) - Odeon Theatre #1
March 6th, Sunday: 3:30 PM - Cinequest Film Festival (San Jose, CA US)- Camera 12 Cinema
March 7th, Monday: 2:00 PM - Cinequest Film Festival (San Jose, CA US)- Camera 12 Cinema
March 8th, Tuesday: 7:00 PM - Cinequest Film Festival (San Jose, CA US)- Camera 12 Cinema
May 17th, Tuesday: 6:00 PM- "Films Changing the World” Series (Toronto, ON Canada) - The Hot Docs Bloor Cinema
May 25th, Tuesday: 5:00 PM- Schizophrenia Awareness Day Film Festival (Vancouver, BC Canada)- The Cinematheque
September 30th, Friday: 10:30 AM- The Other Film Festival (Melbourne, VIC Australia) - State Library Victoria, Experimedia
October 10th, Monday: 7:00 PM- Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland)- James Gillespie's High School
October 15th, Saturday: 4:00 PM- Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (Glasgow, Scotland)- Centre for Contemporary Arts
November 22nd, Tuesday: 7:00 PM- TIFF Reel Comfort Programme (Toronto, ON Canada)- University of Toronto
January 25th, Wednesday: 7:00 PM- Shadows of the Mind Film Festival "Bell Let's Talk Day" (Sault St. Marie) - Multi Media Centre, Sault College
February 28th, Tuesday: 9:30 AM- Shadows of the Mind Film Festival (Sault St. Marie, ON Canada) - The Grand Theatre
March 15th, Wednesday: 7:30 PM- Picture This.... Film Festival (Calgary, AB Canada) - Calgary Scope Society
September 12, Tuesday: 7:00 PM- Ability Fest (Chennai, India)- Sathyam Cinemas
CAMH (TIFF Reel Comfort)
"The purpose of this doc is to kick the schizophrenia stereotype right in the junk and remind us that there is always a person behind the diagnosis.”
- The Muff Society: Full Article
"A compassionate and realistic portrayal of the difficulties of living with schizophrenia, Dan and Margot is an intriguing film and an important one."
- SMHAFF/ Talking Heads: Full Article
"The festival kicks off at 7pm tonight at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh with the European premiere of the documentary Dan and Margot."
- The National Scotland: Full Article
“If you know someone suffering from schizophrenia, the film is going to be an even bigger emotional roller coaster than for others. Hearing Margot explain her disease in her own words is frustrating, scary, and heartbreaking.”
- Toronto Film Scene: Full Article
"Their portrait of Sosa-Sims’s 20-something longtime friend, who discovers she has schizophrenia, is unsettling in that it reminds us how mercilessly pop culture has stigmatized this complex mental illness. Yet it’s also a hopeful and enlightening meditation on the potential to overcome it."
- The Times Colonist: Full Article
“The film should bring some light to schizophrenia and what it’s like to experience something like that and really humanize it for a lot of people who are unfamiliar,” says Sosa-Sims. “Schizophrenia is still really stigmatized. All the media coverage revolves around portraying people with schizophrenia who have committed.. violent and atrocious crimes, and I really wanted to tell a story about a normal, kind-hearted individual who has to deal with it.”
- Nexus Newspaper: Full Article
"AWI had the opportunity to speak with Chloe Sosa-Sims, co-director and producer of DAN AND MARGOT, to get a behind-the-scenes understanding of her film, her friend, and her inspiration for filmmaking."
- Art With Impact Exclusive
“How do we think of schizophrenia? We often visualize the feral-looking guy ranting to himself outside the 7-11. But how about those who are just slipping into a schizophrenic break or those medicated – with the disorder under control?”
- The Movie Gourmet: Full Article
“Margot is a vivacious, fun young woman. She had a stalker back in college. He tormented her for three years. His name was Dan. And he was her first schizophrenic manifestation.”
- Jason Watches Movies: Full Article
People living with schizophrenia are one of the most marginalized and stigmatized groups in society.
OUR IMPACT VISION is to help end the stigma around schizophrenia, and other severe mental illnesses, so that people at risk can speak up and find recovery. Other marginalized groups have been encouraged to “come out”- those with mental illness need to be empowered to do so as well.
Support Dan and Margot and #EndTheStigma around schizohphrenia.
IMPACT ON YOUR COMMUNITY/ HOST A SCREENING
If you are you interested in hosting a special screening of "Dan and Margot" in your community or for your organization, we'd love to hear from you! Please email us at: email@example.com.
DOWNLOAD OUR EDUCATIONAL GUIDE HERE... When hosting your own screening, you can use this toolkit to help lead a discussion!
IMPACT TO AUDIENCES
Greater understanding of schizophrenia amongst the public, as well as at home amongst loved ones....
“My daughter has schizophrenia and I think it would be healthy for other members of my family to see the movie ‘Dan and Margot’ to give them a better understanding of what she is faced with. I saw the movie at the Victoria Film Festival and it certainly helped me to understand some of the issues my daughter is faced with on a daily basis.”- Anonymous
Encourages young adults and at risk populations to “come out,” get support & find hope....
“I am currently waiting for a mental health assessment to see if I have schizophrenia. I am terrified…
[Dan and Margot] is amazing! Best film I have watched on Schizophrenia. I love that the film is so human, which made me feel that I am not alone! Margot and all her friends definitely provided me hope!”- Anonymous
A deeper educational tool, that uses 'contagious empathy,' to help better equip professionals, educators, & students ....
“This should be shown in every school in North America… I got exactly what I came for in terms of a little education/ edutainment about how better to support people within the group who are managing their schizophrenia and wanting to stay well, but I got more than that….” - Colin Bell, Glasgow
At all of our festival screenings, we surveyed audience members to see how the film informed their own perception of schizophrenia and mental illness. This is what we found:
- A QUARTER OF OUR AUDIENCES SAID THEY HAVE BEEN OR WOULD BE AFRAID TO MEET SOMEONE LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA, OR WERE UNCERTAIN AS TO WHETHER THEY WOULD FEEL THIS WAY.....
- 83% STATED THE FILM BROADENED THEIR PERCEPTION OF SCHIZOPHRENIA
- 40% AGREE STIGMA HAS PREVENTED THEM FROM DISCUSSING THEIR OWN MENTAL HEALTH
- 88% STATED THE FILM ENCOURAGES THEM TO DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH
Did you see the film? Tell us what you think! Complete the AUDIENCE SURVEY HERE.
IMPACT TO ORGS
The film has been graciously supported and/ or co-presented by some exceptional organizations including:
By working with these organizations we have been able to reach our target audience, meaning those who are most likely to be impacted by and engage with the film. This includes: those living with schizophrenia and more generally- mental health issues, their loved ones, as well as health care professionals, students, educators and academics who love to continue to expand their knowledge on lived experience.
“From tears to laughter, Dan and Margot audiences share Margot’s journey of continual challenges and triumphs. Bringing light to one of the most stigma-laden illnesses, Margot looks to the future, sometimes with hope, sometimes despair, to understand Schizophrenia and her desire to be well. While Margot isn’t always able to make choices that support her recovery, she is always seeking a way to wellness. Margot is not alone; with one in 100 individuals impacted by this brain illness worldwide, Margot’s story is a familiar one. The difference is that Margot has the opportunity and tenacity to share her story with you, and for that, we are thankful. ” - Deborah Conner, British Columbia Schizophrenia Society.