The Institute of Mental Health, UBC Department of Psychiatry and The Cinematheque present:
Mark Jonathan Harris
Free Virtual Streaming from Thursday, October 29 – Wednesday November 4, 2020
|REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!|
“…an intimate, intensely dramatic film that holds us in its grip like a page-turning novel. Except it’s all true.” Kenneth Turan, LA Times
A revealing first-hand look at the foster care system in the United States, as experienced by children and youth within the system, and by those working tirelessly to support them. The latest collaboration between director Mark Jonathan Harris and producer Deborah Oppenhemier (their Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, won an Academy Award in 2000), Foster is an unforgettable journey into the inner workings of The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the largest foster care system in the country. Here we meet Dasani, a whip-smart 16-year-old at a crossroads; Mary, just aged out of foster care and struggling to achieve independence; and Chris and Raeanne, a young couple struggling with addiction and trying to regain custody of their newborn daughter. Taking two years to research and negotiate access (each child needed approximately 35 different people to sign off on the filming) and two more years to shoot, Foster explores a complex subject with both a critical and compassionate eye.
The Cinematheque is pleased to join with the UBC Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Mental Health in presenting “Frames of Mind,” a monthly event utilizing film to promote professional and community education on issues pertaining to mental health and illness. Seven day virtual access to a film will conclude with an online seminar featuring conversations with special guests and an audience Q&A over zoom.
Free Live Q&A
Register to watch the film and receive an invite to a free live Zoom Q&A with Foster director Mark Jonathan Harris, producer Deborah Oppenhemier and film subject Jessica Chandler, who will be joined by local advocate Katherine McParland and Vancouver-based filmmaker Bruce Spangler.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
To stream this film & register for the Q&A:
Co-sponsored by A Way Home Kamloops
Biographies of speakers:
Mark Jonathan Harris is an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker. Among the many documentaries he has written, produced and/or directed are The Long Way Home, Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 1997; Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, his second Academy Award-winning film as a director, and one selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry; and 2017’s Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine. Mark teaches filmmaking at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he is a Distinguished Professor.
Deborah Oppenhemier is an Academy Award-winning producer who made her feature film debut with the Oscar-winning documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. A prolific producer for cable and network television, Deborah conceived and led U.S. strategic activities for the full run of Downton Abbey, the highest-rated PBS drama ever; and also served as executive vice president in charge of Carnival Films’ Los Angeles office, guiding development for the international and domestic marketplace. Since 1994, she has mentored a former foster youth who served a tour of duty in Iraq and concluded active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2011.
Jessica Chandler is feature subject in Foster. As a former foster child (from age 12 to 18), a young single mother and now a social worker herself, she brings a unique perspective as both a former client and an advocate in the system. A graduate of the MSW program at Cal State Northridge, Jessica’s graduate school internship was with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the place she has now worked as a Children’s Social Worker for the past six years. In addition to her work at DCFS, Jessica has been and continues to be an advocate on the local and national stage for children and families involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Katherine McParland grew up in the foster care system in British Columbia and has experienced extensive periods of homelessness. She is the founder and Executive Director of A Way Home Kamloops, a non-profit community-based organization with a mission to develop a provincial plan to end youth homelessness by ensuring every youth has access to safe housing and the supports needed to sustain it. Katherine is on the federal government’s Advisory Committee on Homelessness, co-chairs the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness, and is a graduate of the Masters of Social Work Leadership program at the University of Calgary.
Bruce Spangler is a filmmaker, composer, teacher, and former B.C. Child Protection Social Worker. A graduate of Simon Fraser’s University Film Program, Bruce was a child protection social worker for five years prior to his filmmaking career. His debut feature film Protection, a fictional story about one child abuse investigation based on his own experiences as a front line investigator, has played at festivals around the world (including at Frames of Mind in March, 2004), and has won several awards, including Best Canadian Independent Feature from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.
Registration details to come!