There is a Fault in Reality

Fault in Reality DVD cover - with award

Through the organization ISPS, the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis, we have met with Tom Cotton and heard his critical voice against the mainstream definition of that which is called schizophrenia. At the Mad in America Film Festival we listened to his ideas and research connected to philosophy, psychotherapy and art – about the link in between, and how essential it is not to forget the importance of one´s own lived experience. Some of the people Tom Cotton followed behind his camera are activists and part of the strong movement Hearing Voices Network, and we are very happy to introduce them and their message and knowledge.

We are proud to present Tom’s film There is a Fault in Reality at the Film Festival!

Patient otherwise healthy and alert

Gunnel red

When we’d just started planning the Film Festival at the end of last year, we saw occasional comments from Gunnel Bergstrand in various forums online. Among other things, she wrote that she wants to tell her story and would love to meet other people who want to make changes in psychiatric care. We got in touch and Gunnel said that she has written a book about her experiences of being a patient in a psychiatric ward at the age of 20 and that there has been made a movie about her story where she travels back to the old mental hospital. A few days later lies an envelope in our mailbox with the book and the film. The film is produced by the foundation Gyllenkroken in Gothenburg and they have now also put English subtitles to it which we are thankful for as our international audience can now take part of Gunnel’s history.

Read more about the film here.

Four Women in Conversation

Disorder Chapter One

We are especially proud that four in so many ways important people accepted the invitation to come to the film festival to jointly talk about their experiences and what their lives have contained. All four are community activists in their own ways but with much in common. We invited these four women because their experiences of psychiatry, though in different countries, are the same. They have confronted a so-called health care system that has failed in knowledge and understanding of humans and assumed a biomedical explanation. An additional and a very important reason for bringing them together on the scene of the Great Theater in Gothenburg is their solid experience of community-changing work that we all can learn from and be inspired by.

This is a unique opportunity to listen to and meet Laura Delano, USA, Olga Runciman, Denmark, Åsa Moberg, Sweden and Mette Ellingsdalen, Norway. Very Welcome!

Read more here.

Craziness: The making of …

Craziness The Making of...  foto

Missing in Berlin could have been a beautiful title for a feel-good movie about a passionate but painful love affair in Berlin. But this is instead what our emails back and forth with Eugene Epstein have been called in the small subject box of the email program. The emails were sent after we, a group of dedicated people, met in a cafe in Berlin to talk about the work going on in so many places around the world. So many people who want to transform psychiatry in its foundation, who work for changes in the perception of human difficulty, who are struggling, who stand up and demonstrate gross negligence in claims about what helps in human inner suffering, people who are researching the importance of talking about one’s own experiences, people who are helping strangers to get shelter in their own homes, who start alternative movements and who mobilize.

So there we were, in Berlin in the coldest of January, talking about how the film festival was beginning to take a concrete form. After playing with words and discussing the impact of different expressions we suddenly came up with the title Driving Us Crazy!

Eugene Epstein, Manfred Weisner and Lothar Duda have made the film montage Craziness: The making of … exclusively for our film festival. The montage shows how “madness” in our culture has been constructed through the ages and invites the consideration of other alternative approaches.

Read more about the film here.

A New Life

ett nytt liv 2

We’re particularly excited about the fact that this film about the Gothenburg Colourists and about the artist Inge Schiöler has been created. The film is like a mysterious thriller where the audience initially cannot understand where the film will lead, what is it about … a lot of small pieces of paper with chalk drawings … and then into the fine art circles and eventually the film ends up far out at sea on the beautiful Koster Islands. A film that makes you happy, but may also leave traces of thoughtfulness about how we are with each other, how we look at each other and ourselves, especially in psychiatric care.

Read more about the film here.

Short Term 12

The text from the rap song by Keith Stanfield says everything about the film Short Term 12.

So put me in your book so you know what it´s like
To live a life not knowing what a normal life´s like
Put a label on my head so you know what it´s like
To live a life not knowing what a normal life´s like
Look into my eyes so you know what it´s like
To live a life not knowing what a normal life´s like

Do not miss this emotional film about young people’s vulnerability. We will show it on the festival!

Read more about the film here.

Dylan Tighe to the festival

Credit Ros Kavanagh_Dylan

Have you experienced the magic when music takes hold of the soul? How the small fine hairs on your arms tremble and your heart becomes heavy and light at the same time. How a thousand thoughts collapse into a single listening. That’s how it was to experience RECORD by Dylan Tighe at Mad in America Film Festival. We are mightily happy to now announce that Dylan Tighe from Ireland is coming to the festival with his performance show RECORD based on his own experience of getting away from psychiatry and with the music in his collection of LPs (records) showing his own path to another life.

Read more about his performance here.

Photo: Ros Kavanagh



We heard about the Canadian film Mommy and our expectations were high when we watched it in conjunction with planning the festival program. That we had such high hopes of finding a film that really hit the mark a really cut film was much because of Suzanne Osten, theater director and film maker, who said that we must include it in the festival program. And we were not disappointed, quite the contrary, we were to say the least enthusiastic …

Mommy is a beautiful and at the same time dreadful movie which from the very start touches and creates strong feelings. As we watched, we were barely aware of the length of the film because we were so absorbed in the strong emotions that it evokes. And thoughts about right and wrong, about good and bad, about guilt and shame.

It is mostly about a son and his mother and a neighbor who plays a central role. Each of them are captured in their own sadness, guilt, fear and anger, still they try in different ways to reach out to each other. Probably they also try their best to understand what is happening in their life.

From the very beginning we understand that the ending will be horrible, as is far too often the case in reality. While watching it many thoughts emerge, and also a wish to be able to create an alternative ending to the story. Hopefully this film will generate some movements towards a reality where stories like this will never happen.

Read more about the film here.


The Girl, the Mother and the Demons


Suzanne Osten is a writer of novels, plays and children’s books as well as a filmmaker and a play director. She was the artistic director of the children’s theater “Unga Klara” in Stockholm between 1975 and 2014. The Swedish Film Institute has appointed Suzanne Osten to be Ambassador of Children’s Films. In 2014 Suzanne directed the play Anna’s Wardrobe at Gothenburg City Theatre. The play was written by Ann Sofie Barany and is about children and psychoanalysis. When the work with the play was going on, the actors collaborated with therapists at Family Care Foundation around issues in meeting with children and adolescents in psychotherapy.

We are happy to share that Suzanne will come to the film festival and tell about her new film The Girl, the Mother and the Demons which is under construction. We will have the privilege to have a preview of selected parts of the film.

Read more about the film here.