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$43,486 pledged of $60,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Matter of Fact Media
$43,486 pledged of $60,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

“ – any optimism I have comes from the marvelous unpredictability of the human mind.”  

Iain McGilchrist,THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World” 

“I knew I had to make a film about the ideas in the book ('The Master and his Emissary'). It became a mission.”  

- Vanessa Dylyn, Producer, "The Divided Brain"

The Film

This project's rewards are in US dollars.

The Divided Brain” features Dr. Iain McGilchrist, comedian John Cleese of ‘Monty Python’, neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor of TED Talks fame, pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, neuroscientist Jurg Kesselring, Aboriginal elder and scientist Dr. Leroy Little Bear, neuroscientist Onur Gunturkun, and - your brain!

When working in harmony, our brain hemispheres balance one another and help us survive. But, Iain McGilchrist observes that in Western culture, the reductionist left hemisphere is dominating our lives and this dominance is negatively affecting how we deal with global problems such as the environment, the economic crisis, and the rise of mental illnesses.

View the film's trailer to learn more -

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The Divided Brain" is the first documentary film based on Dr. Iain McGilchrist's ground-breaking book, “The Master and his Emissary”. In his book (rooted on 20 years' work and an analysis of over 2,000 scientific studies) McGilchrist asks not, “What does the brain do?” but “What is the brain like?” Forget the pop-science of ‘the left hemisphere is logical and does math’ and ‘the right hemisphere is emotional and creates art’. Scientists have long known that each hemisphere does everything. What McGilchrist shows us is that each hemisphere has a radically different personality or ‘view’ of the world. 

"The Divided Brain" follows Iain on his journey to test his ideas. He leaves his home on the Isle of Skye to visit several countries on two continents where he encounters supporters and opponents alike. He finds mounting evidence that our brains’ imbalance is threatening our happiness, our mental health, and even our society. With time running out, McGilchrist seeks a way to help us understand what it is that we are missing and change the direction of our civilization before it’s too late.

If you know about Iain McGilchrist and have read his book, “The Master and his Emissary”, you already know the exhilaration of realizing that everything finally makes sense and you can see your world in a new way. But if you don’t know Iain McGilchrist or his work, you might be asking yourself –

Dr. Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist, writer, and a former Oxford literary scholar. He has been a neuroimaging researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a Consultant Psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital in South London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and has three times been elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is the author of the ground-breaking book, “The Master and his Emissary”.

Why Make This Documentary Now? 

McGilchrist believes we may be trapped, unawares, by the ways in which different systems in the brain constrain our thinking, which in turn, negatively affect how we deal with our world. There are many practical examples of this, from economic crashes to growing bureaucracies and political conflicts. Making us aware of this trap helps us to escape it. This documentary can reach a wider audience and raise awareness and inspire action before it's too late. 

The Inspiration for the Film

"The Divided Brain" producer, Vanessa Dylyn with Iain McGilchrist
"The Divided Brain" producer, Vanessa Dylyn with Iain McGilchrist

Vanessa had read Iain McGilchrist’s book, ‘The Master and his Emissary’, in early 2012. 

She recalls, “Much of it rang true personally for me and seemed to give validity to some of my experiences in the working world that mindless “administrivia” was taking over valuable time. I wondered if our modern brains were really changing and I saw many clues. Scientists know we are seeing an unprecedented rise of depression, schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness. At the same time, we know that schools have been witnessing an increase in autism and ADHD. Parents are struggling to help their children who seem unable to form human relationships or learn normally.” 

Vanessa had already produced documentaries about the brain: "The Musical Brain" with Sting, and "Fixing My Brain" about Barbara Arrowsmith who re-wired her own brain. 

Now, after years of seeking financing and almost a year of filming, Vanessa believes that "The Divided Brain" could be the most important film she has ever made. 

"If the viewer comes away from this film truly changed, with a completely new way of seeing his or her world, I will have accomplished my mission.”

Why We Need the Funds

Though we have received support from The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), The Telus Fund, and The Wellcome Trust, one of our other benefactors has filed for bankruptcy, meaning the film requires additional funds for completion. The filming is complete, and now we need to finish our documentary and show it to the public.

If we are successful, both Iain McGilchrist and John Cleese will be joining us for the film's world premiere screening, and you can too!

John Cleese of Monty Python (left) and Iain McGilchrist in London
John Cleese of Monty Python (left) and Iain McGilchrist in London


Please Spread the Word!

You can become a champion of “The Divided Brain” by selecting a reward level at which you’re comfortable. Then, most importantly, please spread the word and engage in discussions on the internet and in the real world about this film and what it can do to help people see the world in a new way and live happier lives for it.

A Look into the Filming

Director, Manfred Becker shares stories of filming "The Divided Brain" with Iain McGilchrist.
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The Team

A successful producer of award-winning high-concept documentaries, Vanessa’s recent credits include Werner Herzog's "Into the Inferno" (Netflix), the Gemini-winning film The Musical Brain. Featuring Sting, and "Fixing My Brain", the story of Barbara Arrowsmith who re-wired her own brain. After reading "The Master and his Emissary" Vanessa was struck by how relevant it was to our contemporary lives. She was compelled to make a film based on the book so that she could bring the ideas to a wider audience. Vanessa is a principal with the production company, Matter of Fact Media

Manfred began his film career as an editor and enjoyed a long association with the National Film Board of Canada where he worked on many films, including co-editing “The Journey” with Academy Award winning director Peter Watkins (Berlinade, TIFF 1987). In 2001, after years of helping other people make their films, Manfred decided it was time to create his own. He has directed and written a dozen documentaries for television, which have been screened at festivals around the world, and received numerous nominations and awards, like “Fatherland” (Munich Filmfest 2007), which received the Donald Brittain Gemini for best social-political Documentary.

Stephen’s accomplishments in factual television and science documentaries includes five of the hour-long episodes for season two of History Television’s popular “Museum Secrets” series, “Aftermath: Population Zero” (National Geographic), and he produced two seasons of Discovery Channel’s “Mean Machines” series.

Cost Breakdown

Here is how we will spend the US$60,000.00 raised through this campaign.

If we exceed our target goal (and we certainly hope we will) we will use the additional money to create more awesome scientific animations, license more cool archival images and footage, commission original music compositions, and put it all together with wonderful packaging and marketing materials.

Risks and challenges

The filmmakers have solid track records of successfully completing films for broadcast and theatrical release. "The Divided Brain" already has financial support that allowed the completion of filming and it is assured to reach an audience through the broadcaster, CBC, and a Distributor that has entered into a contract to obtain additional broadcasts and screenings. So it will be seen once it is completed.

As mentioned above, we have most of the funds for the film thanks to our generous benefactors. Because the arduous filming is behind us and we have all the footage 'in the can', Kickstarter contributors are helping us to complete the post-production process, which entails substantially less risk. If we fail to meet our goal, we could experience delays in completing and releasing the film. This would be a disappointment but is not a high risk scenario. Of course, if we can exceed our financial goal, we can make more and better effects, invest in more original music compositions, and other things that will make this great film even more awesome.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU E-CARD + EXCLUSIVE UPDATES

    Welcome to "The Divided Brain"! You get a digital Thank You Card that includes a message from Iain McGilchrist and an image from the documentary + a shout out on Twitter (let us know your Twitter handle!), + you'll receive exclusive progress reports about the film and its premiere screening.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY ACCESS DIGITAL MOVIE RENTAL

    THE PREVIOUS REWARD + you'll be the first to blow your mind by streaming the film on an exclusive private link before it's released to the general public on VOD platforms.

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    YOUR NAME ON WEBSITE + 3 IMAGE BUNDLE

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + excite your neurons by seeing your name included on the Special Thank You page of "The Divided Brain" website + receive an exclusive digital bundle of 3 high-resolution images from the film.

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    SIGNED BLURAY DVD

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + expand your mind with your own copy of the film on glorious high-definition Bluray DVD autographed by the Director, Manfred Becker and the Producer, Vanessa Dylyn.

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    SIGNED BOOK + YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + a softcover copy of Dr. McGilchrist's groundbreaking work - the book at the heart of this documentary, "The Master and his Emissary", autographed with a special thank you message by Dr. McGilchrist himself + see your name included in the credits of the feature theatrical version of the film as a special thank you!

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    PAIR OF TICKETS TO PREMIERE & RECEPTION

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + One PAIR OF TICKETS for you and your guest to attend the film's World Premiere Theatrical Screening in London, England* + access to the exclusive VIP reception where you'll mingle with the film crowd and their guests, including the director and producer of "The Divided Brain".

    *Travel and accommodations not included.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    1-ON-1 CALL WITH DR. McGILCHRIST

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS UNDER $500 + You get a mind-altering 20-minute exclusive 1-on-1 video chat with Dr. Iain McGilchrist. People from many disciplines find value in discussing ideas and issues with Iain. Iain is considered to be one of the great thinkers of our era. Add to this his accessible style and sense of humor and you will enjoy a memorable, valuable conversation that you can take forward in your life and work. You'll have plenty to talk about - and if you're a bit lost for words, Iain can help guide the conversation.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    DINNER WITH IAIN + 10 MORE DVDs

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS UNDER $1,000 + 10 additional signed DVDs to share with your friends, family, and colleagues. PLUS, at this level you and your guest will enjoy dinner and conversation with Iain McGilchrist at one of his favorite restaurants in London, England* Get Iain's first-hand stories of what it was like to make "The Divided Brain" (hint: it was exhausting but exhilarating) and savor the glow of knowing you helped make it happen.

    If you are visiting London from out of town to attend the Premiere screening of "The Divided Brain", we will try to schedule your dinner to take place during your stay.

    *Travel and accommodations not included.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    BACKSTAGE PASS WITH JOHN & IAIN

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS under $1000 + You and your guest get BACKSTAGE PASSES to meet actor John Cleese of "Monty Python" fame (who appears in "The Divided Brain") and Iain McGilchrist, while attending the World Premiere screening in London, England * This is a special exclusive access not available to other attendees of the screening and reception. You can chat with John and Iain and be part of the camaraderie that formed between the two men when they met during the filming of "The Divided Brain". They have many stories to share. Ask John Cleese what he thinks of Iain's book. Ask both gentlemen which one managed to make the other one laugh first during the filming. Make this your choice of reward for an unforgettable experience.

    * Travel and accommodations not included.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    DNA MODEL PROP FROM THE FILM

    ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS VALUED AT $25 AND UNDER + Own the actual (and only) DNA model from “The Divided Brain” (see a photo in the description left of this column). This model appears in the film's scene that we call, "I wish I didn't have that gene," with Iain McGilchrist and John Cleese. With the DNA model, you will also receive a photo print of Iain and John using the model and you will receive a written affidavit of authenticity that this is the actual prop seen in the film. This reward also includes the Early Access Digital Movie Rental, so you'll see the model in the context of how it was used in the film.

    NOTE: This is the only one of this reward and is not included as a Previous Reward for higher tiered rewards below.

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