Preview: Toronto film festival sheds light on mental illness

04 November 2015 / by Mikayla Fasullo (author)
My Skinny Sister, directed by Sanna Lenken (photo: )
My Skinny Sister, directed by Sanna Lenken

CJRU reporter Mikayla Fasullo chats with Geoff Pevere of the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival (Nov. 6-14, 2015), about how films can shed light on mental illness, and how mental illness inspires great art. See Mikayla's top five must-see picks from the festival below, and check out her reviews of the festival opener, Swift Current, EIGHT, My Skinny Sister, and Daniel's World.


Mikayla's Top 5 Picks for Rendezvous with Madness 

1. My Skinny Sister

Behind her glittery costumes and pretty face lies teen Katja's (Amy Daesismont) dark secret. Younger sister Stella (Rebecka Josephson) discovers that Katja has an eating disorder that comes to emotionally taint the family. Former victim of the disorder herself and first time director, Sanna Lenken, hit home for many people with this film. My Skinny Sister exposes the real life challenges the disorder can have on a person and their family.



Pouring milk, throwing the comforter over our bed, and brushing our teeth are tasks we encounter every day. For Sarah (Libby Munro), simple tasks like these are a thousand times more intricate - enough to drown her in her own anxiety and control her life.

Trailer- Eight- ATLFF15 Official Selection from Atlanta Film Festival on Vimeo.


3. Swift Current

Off of the rink, pro hockey player, Sheldon Kennedy, had a secret. Scarred and traumatized, he was a victim of sexual assault from his own coach. After years of guarding this secret, Sheldon shares his experience with the world.

The film aims to help victims know they’re not alone, that it wasn’t their fault, and this will not define them. Filmmaker Joshua Rofé’s documentary Swift Current captures the real life emotions of sexual assault that have been pushed into the dark for a long time. 

4. Daniels World

In this fascinating film, Veronika Lišková’s takes a unique approach to the understanding of pedophilia. Daniel is a character who openly discusses his pedophilia, and addresses it. Isolated by his preference, Daniel explores how he will live out the rest of his life as an open 25-year-old pedophile.


5. Of Men And War

The moment you set foot on the battle ground you will never be the same. The physical costs are nothing compared to the deep emotional damage for many US veterans. Film maker Laurent Bécue-Renard exposes the affects combat has on US veterans and families in his film Of Men And War.

The Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival runs November 6-14 in Toronto.


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Mikayla Fasullo

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