To tell the story of the day I learned of my brother's suicide feels particularly vulnerable and scary, but it's one I feel compelled and ready to revisit. And so, for the past year and a half, the wonderfully talented and sensitive Garth Laidlaw and I have been dreaming up ways to animate my story.
I’ve attempted to tell this story before. In truth, I've been trying to tell it - personally, creatively, and quietly - for 19 years. But I've never found the right language to accompany its telling. In working through this story, I’ve come to understand the value of metaphor, abstraction, and, paradoxically, silence, in not just artistically capturing what transpired, but in taking control of a story that has had a hold on me for more than half of my life. My hope is that this short 3 to 5-minute animation captures some of the “truth” of what happened, to help render the inexpressible, unconscious parts of my experience into art. I tell this story not just for the sake of art, but for the sake of rendering this experience intelligible to myself and to others.
I've recently learned that "suicide-bereaved siblings suffer intensely. They also tend to suffer invisibly. " Of course, I already knew this because I lived it. But I did feel awfully alone in that experience, so it has been a revelation for me to learn that I am not alone (how easy it is for guilt and shame to convince us it's just us!). I am beginning to learn how few of these stories we have, and how important it might be to tell them.
I'd be grateful for your support in making this film.
For those touched by sibling suicide, I'd love to connect.
Our short film, "Threshold" will be approximately 4 minutes in length, using hand-drawn animation.
We envision showing this film to audiences who would benefit from its viewing and the accompanying conversation, with mental health supports in the room. Audience members would have the opportunity to engage both the content of the film and the process and power of collaborative art-making and storytelling. We hope this has the potential to start a dialogue around, and create community for, those who have lived through a similar loss.
"Threshold" has recently been awarded a grant from the Ontario Art Council for $10,000.
Our total projected costs are $16,191.50. These costs will cover animation fees, script-writing, grant-writing, and production expenses.
I have made an artist contribution to the project of $3200, leaving our project balance at $2991.50.
Should we raise in excess of $2991.50, funds will go toward music composition (current budget allows for music licensing but not a custom track), animation fees in excess of 4 minutes (hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation costs $3164/minute), distribution fees, reimbursement of artist contribution, public screenings and post-screening discussions.
My deepest gratitude for your love and support.
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