Documentary A SISTER'S CALL Brings Mental Illness Into Spotlight
A SISTER'S CALL, the award-winning documentary brilliantly directed by Rebecca Schaper and Kyle Tekiela , continues garnering prizes at film festivals around the country. A Sister's Call can now be purchased online through Pivotshare and viewed on the web and across leading mobile and tablet devices. The film was produced by directors Schaper and Tekiela in association with Kartemquin Films, creators of the 1994 award-winning classic documentary, Hoop Dreams. Kartemquin Films served as an editorial consultant on the project, helping to mold the final product through their world-renowned KTQ Labs program. The group is also helping with outreach as the project moves forward.
A Sister's Call, winner of the San Diego Film Festivals Best Documentary prize, among more than a dozen other awards, was also nominated for Oxford American Magazines coveted title of "Best Southern Film" in 2012. Speaking on the films impact, Michael Dunaway from PASTE Magazine called the movie, "A haunting explanation of the meaning of family. It unpacks its secrets slowly and to devastating effect. The characters will stay with you long after you leave the theater."
Director as well as a participant in the documentary, Rebecca Schaper , has said, "We have all been very touched by audiences everywhere embracing our film. It was our mission that this project might help hurting people heal and we're just thrilled to see the positive response."
The project is currently touring the country with independent community screenings and discussion with people whose lives have been affected by someone they have known with a mental illness. The life of the entire Richmond family continues to heal hurting lives through A Sister's Call. Director Tekiela says that their "goal from day one-teach the audience about the illness simply by letting them experience it in all its beauty and horror." Though the principal subject of the documentary, Call Richmond passed away in September of 2012, the impact of his life will live on through the film.
Filmed over fourteen years, the documentary tells the story of Call and Rebecca Richmond who were born into Atlanta's high society. To their neighbors, they appeared to be the perfect family. But nothing could have been further from the truth. Mary, their mother, a beautiful and dazzling socialite, was in reality plagued by paranoid schizophrenia, and battled her sickness with alcohol and narcotics, while her doctors administered a continuous series of shock treatments. Their father, a debonaire war hero, tried to keep up the facade of success while in turn hiding his own horrifying secrets.
With only a semester of college remaining, Call gave in to his own fight with paranoid schizophrenia and simply walked out on his life. Overwhelmed by the voices in his head, he began wandering the country, drifting in and out of sanity. Amazingly, after twenty years of searching, Rebecca found her brother alive, but not well...A Sister's Call chronicles Rebecca's heroic mission to bring her brother back from the depths of homelessness and schizophrenia all while seeking a way to heal herself and her family from the tragedies of her past.
Spencer Watson from SYNC Magazine said, "It is in turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. Rarely are conversations on camera so real." The project is also being lauded by those involved with treating mental illness. Greg Wright from Social Workers Speak says, "The films is a roller-coaster ride...shows the travails people who have mental illness and their caretakers experience." A Sister's Call is being distributed on the Pivotshare digital media platform and may be purchased and viewed at https://asisterscall.pivotshare.com.
About Kartemquin Films
In 1966, Kartemquin Films began making documentaries that examine and critique society through the stories of real people. Their documentaries, such asThe Interrupters, Hoop Dreams and The New Americans, are among the most acclaimed of all time, leaving a lasting impact on millions of viewers.
Most recently, As Goes Janesville, a co-production with 371 Productions, aired on PBS Independent Lens, and will be released on DVD in January. In 2013, they expect to have their busiest year yet, with releases including The Trials ofMuhammad Ali , Cooked, and Life Itself, about film critic Roger Ebert .
Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on over 45 years of being Chicago's documentary powerhouse. Kartemquin is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
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