Film Title: Up/Down
Award Designation: Love Unlimited Film Festival & Art Exhibition Award Winner.
Director: Kyle Gehring
Cast: Manda Webster (Lead Actor), Collette Slack (Lead Actor), Diana Chaudron (Lead Actor), Michelle Serries (Lead Actor), Sheldon Sweat (Lead Actor), Christina Thompson (Lead Actor), Nancy Danielly (Lead Actor), Misty Von Kalow (Lead Actor), Greg McIvor (Lead Actor), Nancy Lemon (Lead Actor), Sascha Tunney (Lead Actor), John Kirby (Lead Actor), Susan Brown (Supporting)
Category: Feature Documentary
Short Synopsis: There are approximately 5.7 million people in the United States with bipolar disorder. In an attempt to eliminate the mystery and misinformation surrounding the illness, many throughout the country diagnosed with this condition were interviewed extensively. They diligently explain the struggle to balance themselves between floating to a state of euphoria and sinking to a devastating depression.
I've always been a fighter for those facing persecution or discrimination, probably because I have been a victim of these things throughout my life as well. And I'm not limiting these terms to their traditional associations such as religion or race. In this case, I'm fighting the stigma surrounding a genetic condition: bipolar disorder.
A lot of people look at those with bipolar as "crazy" or "insane", mostly because that's what a lot of our media tells us. I'm putting a face to this disorder and I believe that anyone who watches this film will change their feelings on bipolar and those with it. These people took a risk by publicly exposing their emotions and lives just so society can understand this condition a little better. And, in the end, they're just like anyone else. The only difference is the intensity of their emotions. Their ups are higher than most people's, along with their downs. The goal we have with this film is to lessen the stigma. If someone's understanding of this disorder has broadened after watching this film, then we have succeeded. Production Notes
"Truly independent" Like I would have with any other feature, I tried to get investors for this film. Countless people told me the same thing: "I like the idea and I like how you're doing it, but I just can't afford to be associated with 'crazy' people." Instead of being discouraged, I was even further encouraged to make the film, fight this kind of discrimination, and do my part in eliminating the unfortunate and generally undeserving stigma of bipolar disorder and mental illness. I tried using fundraising tools like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, but received the same results of people afraid to associate themselves with the subject matter. I'm not rich nor were any of the people involved with this film, but we are crafty. We took what little money we had (significantly less than $5,000) and made this film. Over 10,000 miles were traveled (in my ever-so reliable Volkswagen) across this country. We slept on floors and in random motels in the middle of nowhere. We didn't have the money that so many seem to have, but we had the drive. And we were something that so many people aren't anymore: truly independent.
Kyle Gehring: Agent, Director, Editor, Manager, Preview Return, Print Return, Print Shipper, Producer, Publicist, Submission Contact
Born in the Seattle area in 1987, Kyle Gehring has always had a taste for the arts. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, he wrote tirelessly and played music of nearly any genre he could experiment with, garnering many awards and recognition for both. At the age of 18, he decided to go into film. After making two award-winning features and dozens of shorts, Kyle decided to enroll at the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking in 2008. His thesis film was screened and acclaimed throughout the world, particularly for its engaging philosophical content and extraordinary visual style. Deciding to go for another challenge, he wanted to make a visually-striking documentary. And this film is "Up/Down", which focuses on those with bipolar disorder.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011
Film Title: Up/Down