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Festival Diary

Globe and Mail Update

I was not prepared for the adventure I set myself up for coming to this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Last year, around this time, I had a dream: "how cool would it be to express some pent up emotions on MOOD DISORDER (as per my experience and frustrations) and how cool would it be if I made this short rant into a film, and then it got into TIFF, and I could actually use art as a tool?

I have never had my artistic vision come fully to fruition, but let me share with you what it is like for a moment. ...

People show up, people care, people listen, people change.

I feel that my film is actually a catalyst for progress! I feel that everyone at the event tonight put on by Time Magazine in honour of my film, Pretty Broken, are both pioneers and advocates for the cause of Mood Disorder.

I truly believe that while there is so much work to be done in this society on the subject of tolerance and mood disorder, that there is a glimmer of hope, and that one less person will judge a man on the street, and one less man will feel judged in his plight.

I have always aspired to be a genuine artist, and tonight I got a taste of what that feels like. I will never doubt again where the palate for painting my pictures come from, and I might be in silence for a long time, or until I know that I am projecting, because I now see that whatever I do must be based on something that is pouring out, because I cannot control the creative and emotional spill.

I have never been a participant at the Toronto International Film Festival as a film maker, and so I have nothing to judge this first experience against.

But I am a grown woman, a wife, a mum, and old enough to know something about life that qualifies me a bit wise, I think I can say that now with confidence, and . ...

I have never been more inspired by art and the possibility of change through art. I feel like I understand what art is here for on this confusing planet. I knew some people personally tonight at the Diesel theatre where I spoke about my experience knowing and loving people with Mood Disorder, and others were strangers, but everybody felt like a friend through my film and its message.

Everybody was a bit more pure, and compassionate and open. ... I saw the best in people tonight because of art and inspiration and dreaming.

I am a different person, not because I feel like I changed the world around me, but because so many people showed me a side of themselves that I never knew existed. We all went to a great movie together.

Thanks TIFF, I'll definitely be back to learn and grow some more — as a participant, or just as a girl who loves a great film.

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