YOU DID IT! YOU HELPED US ACHIEVE OUR GOAL! Any additional pledges made beyond our goal will go directly to our OUTREACH efforts and community screenings of the film.
Check out these fabulous articles from Chaz Ebert (wife of Roger Ebert and star of "Life Itself") and Tambay Obenson of IndieWire!
“No pain, no gain.” It’s the mantra for championship athletes of every sport. But what happens when an elite athlete experiences so much emotional pain that her world comes crashing down upon her?
Chamique Holdsclaw first grabbed the sports world’s attention as a teenager on the streets of New York City--playing with guys, beating the guys, and making national headlines before she graduated high school. Charming and playful off the court, Holdsclaw had a “take-no-prisoners” attitude once the ball was in her hands. She went on to propel Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols at the University of Tennessee to an unprecedented three straight national championships, became known as the “female Michael Jordan," adorned Nike billboards, and was the #1 pick of the WNBA draft in 1999. Her unique flair, success and charisma began to draw millions of new fans to women’s basketball nationwide.
But inside, something was not right. At age 26, Holdsclaw mysteriously left her WNBA team due to depression. She returned to the game, but two years later attempted suicide. For Holdsclaw, admitting she had a mental disorder and seeking professional help were challenges far more difficult than making game-winning shots.
Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw tells Holdsclaw’s riveting and poignant story, from her on-court artistry to her darkest hours alone and adrift, to her tumultuous and still ongoing journey to get her life back on track. The “inside dope,” is revealed by those who know Chamique the best--teammates, coaches, family, friends, sportswriters and more--and, most candidly, by Chamique Holdsclaw herself.
Through this spellbinding story of one very public figure, Mind/Game provides a vivid and intimate portrait of what it means to experience mental illness: the elusive nature of defining and identifying it; why it so hard to seek help; and the difficulty people—even sufferers, close friends and family members—have in discussing it. The film addresses special challenges within the world of competitive sports, as well as within the African-American community and others of color.
Mind/Game demonstrates that mental illness is not a death sentence. Our goal is to help decrease stigma and dispel myths and misconceptions about mental illness in order to move our society toward more enlightened public discussion and just mental health policy.
HOW CAN I HELP?
(From director Rick Goldsmith:) I started this project in the spring of 2012 after reading a story on Holdsclaw by celebrated New York Times sports columnist William Rhoden. I have mental illness in my family and I was moved by Chamique's mental health battles and her courage to speak out publicly. I reached out to her, and after several discussions, she agreed to open her life to me and we started our collaboration. The almost three years since have been filled with twists and sometimes jarring surprises. Her journey continues. Our film approaches completion.
We have received small grants and donations from many supporters-- including many of you reading this. I was selected for a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship, which provided me with invaluable resources and advice. It has been a labor of love with an urgent sense of purpose, and on a relative shoestring we have been able to complete production. But, as anyone who is familiar with documentary filmmaking knows, the really big expenses happen at the end, during post-production. For that we need your help, big-time.
Become part of our collective effort to get our film to the finish line! (All contributions are tax-deductible.) Your pledges will directly support:
- final writing and editing
- archival acquisition and licensing
- music composition
- sound design and mix
- graphic design
- color correction and mastering
We have assembled a wonderful team of esteemed film professionals, some of whom I’ve worked with over the years, and some new to me. We have partnered with numerous sports and mental health advocacy groups and will continue to do so throughout the distribution and outreach of our film.
But first we have to finish! A successful Kickstarter campaign, with your help, will allow us to complete the film this spring 2015, and get it out into the world. We will begin with film festivals, and proceed to sports and mental health audiences, schools and colleges, broadcast, streaming, DVD, perhaps theatrical and beyond. With every new viewing, we’ll start another conversation about mental health. Thank you!
Director and producer Rick Goldsmith is a twice-Academy-Award-nominated documentary filmmaker who has dedicated his career to telling compelling personal stories that address larger social issues. His films consistently reach large audiences, on television, in theaters, in educational and community settings, and more.
Rick’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009) (co-produced and co-directed with Judith Ehrlich) won a George Foster Peabody award as well as an Academy-Award nomination for Best Feature Documentary. It addresses secrecy in government, whistleblowing, freedom of the press and "civil courage." Goldsmith's Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (1996) was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and addresses censorship and suppression in the nation’s news media. His Everyday Heroes (2001) (co-produced and co-directed with Abby Ginzberg) gets behind the headlines of AmeriCorps and opens a window on youth, race, and national service.
With Mind/Game, Rick attacks one of America’s last social taboos, mental illness, with all the drama, incisiveness, and intimacy of his previous films, and then some. He has created a story that is exciting and heart-rending, poignant and insightful, intimate and universal.
Associate Producer and Assistant Editor: Lauren Kawana
Lauren hails from Honolulu, Hawaii and has worked on documentaries including Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority; Winning Girl; and The Stick-Up Kid for PBS Frontline. She received her master's in documentary film from the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Director of Photography: Pete Wages
Pete is a cinematographer from Atlanta, Georgia who has shot for numerous films and documentaries, as well as commercials for big names including Bridgestone Golf, Doritos, Coke, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, and Lego.
Director of Photography: Vicente Franco
Vicente was a 2003 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary and Emmy nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Daughter from Danang, winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2002 Grand Jury Prize. He also served as Director of Photography on 3 other Academy Award nominees: The Barber of Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and Freedom in My Mind.
Writer: Sharon Wood
Sharon has served as writer on three Oscar-nominated documentaries, Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (with director Rick Goldsmith), Straight from the Heart, and Super Chief: The Life and Legacy of Earl Warren. Her most recent projects include And the Oscar Goes To… for Turner Classic Movies and The Battle of amfAR, for HBO.
Sound Design: James Lebrecht
Jim is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists, a complete audio postproduction facility located in the Saul Zaentz Media Center. He has worked on numerous award-winning films including The Blood of Yingzhou District, Daughter from Danang, and The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
Composer: Miriam Cutler
Miriam is an Emmy-nominated composer who has worked on numerous films including Lost in La Mancha, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, and most recently, The Hunting Ground. She has also co-produced two Grammy-nominated live jazz albums for Joe Williams, as well as albums for Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Marlena Shaw, and her own music.
Kay is the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center and the consensus leading expert on bipolar disorder. She is also the author of "An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness," which is based on her own battles with mental illness. She was awarded the MacArthur Foundation “genius award” in 2001.
Risks and challenges
This project has been a labor of love with an urgent sense of purpose. While we face formidable financial challenges at the moment, the story and subject matter of this film are too important to not move forward, no matter what the obstacles. As producer and director, Goldsmith has a stellar track-record for distribution: his three feature documentaries have all been broadcast nationwide. Production is complete, and editing very nearly so. We just need to get over the top. Be part of the "journey." You won't regret it.
(Your contributions go to Kovno Communications, Inc., our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and are tax-deductible.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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