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Iain McGilchrist is changing the world with neuroscience.
Thanks to all of our backers, Iain McGilchrist is changing the world with neuroscience.
Thanks to all of our backers, Iain McGilchrist is changing the world with neuroscience.
141 backers pledged $60,340 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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"The Divided Brain" documentary

$60,340

141

“ – 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

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    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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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    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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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    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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    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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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    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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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    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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Funding period

- (30 days)