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BUSY INSIDE is a feature length documentary film that follows 5 women in group therapy living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
BUSY INSIDE is a feature length documentary film that follows 5 women in group therapy living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
208 backers pledged $25,256 to help bring this project to life.

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BUSY INSIDE

Karen Marshall’s body, mind, and heart do not belong to her alone. She shares them with Rosalee, a smart and perky teenager; Timee, a flamboyant, puerile youth, who wears women’s clothing; an old lady, a habitué of museums; and a dozen of others. Karen’s official diagnosis is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

Through personal stories, BUSY INSIDE delves deeply into DID—a condition that fascinates and puzzles modern psychiatry. Incredible as it may seem, some individuals with DID have been known to have more than twenty identities, each of which varies greatly, embodying different temperaments, ages, professions, and even genders.

A drawing of Karen's "system" of personalities
A drawing of Karen's "system" of personalities

People usually develop this disorder as a result of physical and mental trauma caused by child abuse. Following abuse, DID emerges as a defense mechanism that allows the victim to pass on his or her unbearable memories to someone else—a different personality created in the victim’s mind. With time, the person develops more personalities, each serving different purposes.

But descriptions and explanations do little to convey the raw experience of living with DID or of interacting with someone with it. The human mind does not easily cope with encountering someone with completely different voices, mannerisms, and emotional reactions. As Karen puts it, “When people say you should become one, it doesn’t mean anything to us, just like for some people it doesn’t mean anything to be more than one.”

Artwork from a woman living with DID
Artwork from a woman living with DID

BUSY INSIDE works to return dignity to those living with DID by bringing about a better understanding of what it means to be one person living with many personalities. The film will inspire audiences to question their own identity: is it a function of our brain, a social mask, or an illusion? Don’t we sometimes behave differently than our ‘norm’? We may keep some emotions buried or act differently at a party compared to at work. We ‘run on autopilot’, we miss our exit while driving, we startles ourselves awake with a snore when we didn’t realize we’d fallen asleep. We were present, but where did we go? And so, how different are we really from those with multiple personalities, where some manage the simple tasks and others take the emotional burden? We hope that audiences will begin to understand that DID is a more nuanced, and also a more arduous version of the different selves we all experience.

Production for the film has been completed. Now, we need a couple more things before we can share it with the world!

WHAT'S THE NEED?

  • Finish editing
  • Professional color correction and sound mix
  • Hire a composer
  • Hire a designer to work on titles and graphics

THE TEAM

Victor & Olga at HBO breakfast at Independent Film Project Week
Victor & Olga at HBO breakfast at Independent Film Project Week

Olga Lvoff (Director/Editor) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her recent full-length documentary film, “When People Die They Sing Songs,” was nominated for a Student Oscar in 2014, won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, and participated in many festivals including DOC NYC. The film was released theatrically in Documentary Film Center (Moscow), received educational distribution all over the world, and aired in Japan on NHK World Documentary in 2015. The film was featured in The New York Times in 2015. Olga splits her time between Harlem and Moscow. “Busy Inside” is her first feature.

Victor Ilyukhin (Producer/Editor) received an MFA in Social Documentary from the School of Visual Arts in NYC in 2014. His feature documentary “Taste” aired in 2013 on Russia 2 TV channel. Ilyukhin's film “Two and Twenty Troubles” has screened at many festivals worldwide, has received funding from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Puffin Foundation, NYU Community Fund, and was featured in The New York Times in 2015.

WHO ELSE IS A PART OF BUSY INSIDE?

Executive Producers: Alexandra Shiva, Andrew Herwitz & Joy Tomchin
Consulting Producer: Rose Vincelli Gustine
Supervising Editor: Jonathan Oppenheim
Story Consultants: Michel Negroponte & Toby Shimin
Director of Photography: Justin Ervin
Associate Producer: Sarah Rachael Wainio

HOW DO I CONTRIBUTE?

1. To pledge, make sure you're first logged in to your Kickstarter account.
2. Click the green “Back This Project” button on the campaign page.3. After you’ve selected your reward tier, you’ll be prompted to enter in your payment information.4. Lastly, click the “Pledge" button and you’ll be all set! You should receive a confirmation email after completing your pledge.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Sarah (sarahw@mfasocdoc.com)

Risks and challenges

Every independent film endeavor has its risks. We have great confidence our risks are minimal. We feel the greatest outstanding risk is the film not being seen- which is why we are launching this campaign, to get the help from others to ensure it is seen. We’ve been working with fervor to put together a strong team of individuals to help us distribute and release the film. It takes a village to make a film and we invite you to be a part of our village.

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    SNAIL MAIL

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

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    SIGNED FILM POSTER

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    SNEAK PEEK SCREENING

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    ARTWORK FROM AN ALTER

    A framed piece of artwork drawn or painted by one of the personalities of a main character - just for you!
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    TICKETS TO A SCREENING

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    DINNER WITH BUSY INSIDE

    Dinner with the director and producer of the film in New York or Moscow (depending on schedule)

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    a dinner with one of film's main characters in San Diego
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    **Travel not included**

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Funding period

- (30 days)