Philip Brubaker accepts a Realism Award at the inaugural Mental Filmness festival in 2019. Brubaker directed the documentary “Brushes With Life: Art, Artists, and Mental Illness.”
Travis Neal was a visiting filmmaker from California. Travis directed the short film “Bullets,” a comedy of “suicide and pizza.”

Kat Dolan, a performance poet, mental health advocate, and inspirational speaker, traveled from North Carolina to speak with us. We awarded her the Stigma Breaker award for her short film “Nobody But Myself,” a powerful love poem addressed to her depression.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 was the opening night of Mental Filmness at Comfort Station. It drew a good crowd for a new festival and a modestly sized venue. The opening short was the tense Australian short “Call Connect,” about a suicide hotline volunteer in training who unexpectedly takes her first call.
A glance at a unique historic venue–Comfort Station in Logan Square–and the opening night crowd. Organizer Sharon Gissy introduces the mission before screenings begin.