This film explores the range of who a person is outside of their mental illness. Through friendship, a positive impact can be made on someone who simply needs to be understood. Similarly, the friend will learn that a mental illness cannot detract from who that person is, because they are a great deal more than that diagnosis.
FADE IN: Two friends are sitting in a room together sketching on another.
You are my friend. You are not a mental illness, because you cannot be defined by that. Just as I cannot be defined by my race, gender, or sexuality.
CUT TO:Scene changes to a park.
You can be defined by your strength.
Both literally and figuratively.
And by your amazing sense of humor.
You always know how to put a smile on my face.
CUT TO:Scene changes to male friend playing the piano, and then to a schoolyard.
You can also be defined by your passion for music.There are endless definitions to who you are.Unfortunately, there are some people who would rather define us by what makes us different than them.However, you are more similar to me than many of those people are.
Two friends back to sketching one another.
I stand up for you because you deserve a lot better than you often endure.You are not your mental illness, because that could have happened to anyone. You are uniquely you, because of your character.
Director: Emma Spiekerman
When Emma created this film she was a senior at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, California, moving on to attend Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. She wrote, directed, edited, and produced the music for More Than a Mental Illness, which also won third place regionally in the Directing Change Contest. She looks forward to a future of making films that both entertain and inform.