Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SOS: Survivors of Suicide and The Sensation of Sight

[Received this notice from Buzz McLaughlin at New Hampshire-based Either/Or Films.]

Dear friends of Either/Or Films and supporters of The Sensation of Sight,

When we produced "The Sensation of Sight" in 2006, took it to festivals around the world, and then signed with our distributor Monterey Media who released it theatrically and on DVD in 2008, we had no idea that today we'd be involved in a totally unexpected project...

SOS: Survivors of Suicide and The Sensation of Sight

Throughout the last few years, many people have told us that watching the film had somehow helped them with their grief at losing a friend or family member to suicide.

Then, several months ago, the Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) of New Hampshire, under the auspices of the National Alliance of Mental Illness in New Hampshire, contacted us to see if we'd allow them to show the film as a vehicle for discussion. They'd screened dozens of films made in the last several decades, they told us, and selected selected two: "The Sensation of Sight" and "Ordinary People," winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1980.

Of course we said yes, if the film could help people we'd be happy to do whatever we could to facilitate that. So the SPC applied for and was awarded a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to hold free public screenings of the film followed by facilitated discussions in a program titled “A Discourse on Suicide through Film.”

The first two screenings will be held this weekend--

Saturday, March 20 from 1-4 p.m. at the Derry Public Library, 64 E. Broadway, Derry, NH.

Sunday, March 21, from 1-4 p.m., at the Portsmouth Community Campus, 100 Campus Drive, Portsmouth, NH.

After the screenings, which are open to the public, there will be discussions led by Humanist Maren Tirabassi. I'll be present, along with "The Sensation of Sight" writer/director Aaron Wiederspahn, my partner at Either/Or Films.

Because of the interest among people working with suicide survivors, the Samaritans will be sponsoring another screening of "The Sensation of Sight" on April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Putnam Theatre on the Keene State College campus, Keene, NH.

The April 21 screening is part of a national suicide awareness day sponsored by colleges all across the country in a project called Dreams Untitled.

The discussion following that screening will be moderated by Cilla Dehotman of the Samaritans. Aaron and I will also be attending.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention estimates that someone in the United States dies every 16 minutes from suicide and that a suicide attempt occurs every minute.

If you know someone who is a suicide survivor--or an organization that might be interested in learning more about the SOS project and sponsoring a screening--please forward them this email. Thankyou.

Complete information and more can be found here on our website at

All best wishes from me and Aaron and Kris,