"My Suicide" with director David Lee Miller

Date/Time
Date(s) - Thursday 04/29/2010 - 04/30/2010
11:00 pm - 2:00 am

5:30pm Potluck: meet & greet the filmmakers, plus “Daddyless,” an installation by Chelsea and Victoria Kereszi

7pm Screening

 

CO-SPONSORED BY:

CONTACT Lifeline – Family & Children’s Service of the Capital Region and United Way 211 Northeast
A crisis hotline that services people who are depressed, lonely, despairing, or suicidal.
1-800-273-TALK ••• http://www.FCScapitalregion.org

And by:
The Trevor Project
A 24/7 suicide and crisis prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth.
1-866-4-U-TREVOR ••• http://www.theTrevorProject.org

 

“MY SUICIDE is unlike anything you have ever seen … A visual stream of consciousness.”
—Mike Goodridge, Screen International

ABOUT THE FILM

MY SUICIDE is a dark, romantic teen comedy about Archie Williams, an isolated high school geek, who becomes the most popular kid in the school when he announces he’s going to kill himself on camera for his final video class project. As word spreads, Archie’s classmates, parents, the most beautiful girl in school, Sierra, and a “Shady Bunch” of teachers, shrinks, doctors, pill-pushers and counselors bombard him – some hoping to save him, some wanting to imitate him, others trying to push him over the edge.

Archie films it all, pointing his incisive camera at the realities of life, death, violence, sex, money, drugs, music and the intense media overload and the shallow hypocrisy bombarding teenagers today. Like a young Howard Beale (Network), Archie rants with comic accuracy, interweaving documentary footage with his narrative, graphically revealing what teens love and hate, do for kicks, and secretly hide within their souls.

Archie is subjected to systematic testing, counseling, labeling, and religious bombardment, all of which he faithfully comments on with his sardonic wit and media wizardry. Is Archie truly suicidal? Or is he like Harold in Harold & Maude, merely fascinated with death, seeking attention, and searching for some higher reality and love?

Then there’s the untouchable Sierra, the most popular girl in school. Sierra represents everything Archie hates: Beauty is Truth; obsession with grades, looks and success. Sierra is drawn to Archie, not because he’s suddenly popular, but because she is hiding… living a dark secret.

 

AWARDS

  1. BERLINALE (2009): WINNER – The Crystal Bear for BEST PICTURE
  2. GEN ART (NYC): WINNER – Grand Jury Prize for BEST PICTURE
  3. GEN ART (NYC): WINNER – Audience Award for BEST PICTURE
  4. GEN ART (NYC): WINNER – Stargazer Award for BEST ACTING – Gabriel Sunday
  5. SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – FutureWave Award for BEST FEATURE
  6. NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Award for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING
  7. GIFFONI FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Jury Grand Prix for BEST PICTURE
  8. GIFFONI FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Special Jury Grand Prix, Golden Gryphon for BEST PICTURE
  9. GIFFONI FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Audience Award for BEST PICTURE
  10. GIFFONI FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – MyMovies Award for BEST PICTURE
  11. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – BEST EDITING
  12. EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Peoples Choice Award for BEST FEATURE FILM
  13. EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Grand Jury Prize for BEST DRAMATIC FEATURE
  14. BUSTER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – BEST FILM
  15. CARROUSEL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM DE RIMOUSKI: WINNER – The Camerio International Jury Award for BEST FEATURE FILM
  16. RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: WINNER – Jury Award for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
  17. EXGROUND FILMFEST, WIESBADEN, GERMANY: WINNER – Grand Youth Jury Award

 

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

My Suicide is the brainchild of director David Lee Miller, who, along with his teenage son Jordan Miller, screenwriter Eric J. Adams, and star Gabriel Sunday, set out to create an authentic and original film that speaks candidly – sugar-coating nothing – about the reality of contemporary teenage life and the effects of suicide in every town in America.

The story began in 2002, when David Lee Miller and his son Jordan founded Regenerate with a grant that Jordan received from the City of Thousand Oaks, California to make Public Service Announcements “By Youth – For Youth.” The PSAs would focus on the leading killer of teens: car crashes, suicide, and violence. This inspired them to start shooting the movie My Suicide themselves through Regenerate, and secure grants and foundations to back them. Around this time, co-writer Eric J. Adams stumbled upon the talented Gabriel Sunday, ironically working on a teen suicide prevention public service announcement together in the San Francisco Bay Area. Producers Todd Traina and Larry Janss invested in the movie and principal photography commenced.

The backbone of the story was shot from a traditional screenplay, combined with improvisational and documentary production inspired by “writing on the timeline” during an extended post production process. This helped the film capture its authentic youth voice, and provided the opportunity for Gabriel Sunday to create some of the main character’s most powerful rants. Complicated, layered animation was added by animator Arvin Bautista and FX artist Joe F. Kastely (I Heart Huckabees).

During this unique post-production process, the film attracted consultants including Karen Dean Fritts, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Licensed Marriage Family and Child Therapist who introduced the picture to Harold Ramis. Dr. Elaine Leader (Founder of ‘Teen Line’) and Dr. Edwin Shneidman (the Father of ‘Suicidology,’ and the world’s leading suicide prevention expert) also joined and consulted on the movie. Harold Ramis loved the film so much he became a mentor and advisor for the project. In January 2008, Julia Pistor joined the project as executive producer and the team was officially in place.

 

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Legendary Music Supervisor Karyn Rachtman (Pulp Fiction) passionately signed onto the project to secure the rights to the prodigious amount of music and pre-existing media, sound and images featured in the film.

Musical artists include:

Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Devendra Banhart, My Morning Jacket, Animal Collective, Third Eye Blind, Mark Mothersbaugh, Blue October, Daniel Johnston, Wolfmother, MGMT, The Eels, Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life), The Pixies, TV On The Radio, Joanna Newsom, Rocky Votolato, The Mae Shi, The Microphones, The ATMA, The Cinematic Orchestra, Orphan Theater, Alex Herron (discovered on MySpace)

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