...when we work with communities outside the mainstream, then we need to meet them there on the margins
—Holly Moore, filmmaker
After filmmaker Holly Moore settled on a concept for her latest documentary she started doing research, cautiously trying to strike a balance between documenting and exploiting her subjects.
SCENE asked Moore how she found the people who would shape Out of Mind:
I was working on a pitch about art and mental illness for the National Film Board--I had some grand scheme.
I visited Lucille Bart at Artbeat, a not-for-profit organization that uses art to assist people in recovery from mental illness. I asked for some insight on how to make sure I did not exploit or stigmatize the artists I wanted to film. She started to tell me the story of Artbeat, her son Nigel Bart and all the work that they are doing there.
An untitled work by Regina Chyzy (Moore/Lauder)
As I was leaving, I realized that this was the film I wanted to make. Up close and personal with the artists...following them for a six month period. Lucille and Nigel trusted me enough to allow me to come and ask the artists.
I went to the first group meeting of the artists to pitch them the idea.... I was scared.
Many people living with mental illness have a rightly acquired fear of media and I was asking to film a painful process of healing for them.
Some said yes. Some said no. Some said... maybe.
Untitled work by Ryan Dyck (Moore/Lauder)
The artists that are in the film are a small part of a larger giving group. I showed the Artbeat community the film in a private viewing before it was released.... They cried.
I cried too, mostly from relief that I had finished a project that honored them.
I think when we work with communities outside the mainstream, then we need to meet them there on the margins and be aware of how our own prejudices play out in our work as filmmakers.
It's been an amazing experience, from the first interview to the final credits.
Out of Mind airs July 6 at 7 p.m. on CBC Television.