[Currently in production] From challenging beginnings, Chamique Holdsclaw became the best and most famous women’s basketball player on the planet, the “female Michael Jordan.” Until her career was derailed by depression and near-suicide. At first unequipped to deal with mental health issues, her road to recovery was slow and bumpy. But once she began to recover, she took a risk and began to tell her own story to help others.
She soon became a powerful mental health advocate, a recognized leader in shining a national spotlight on mental illness—especially in sports, among African-Americans, and among youth: populations that are often uncomfortable, like she was, dealing with mental health issues. Then, in a dramatic reminder of the unpredictability and power of mental illness, months after we began filming, Holdsclaw had a dramatic setback. Her daily battles for her own recovery, and her openness to revealing them, are powerful, poignant and instructive.
Mental illness is perhaps the final taboo of America’s pressing social problems. At a mental health summit in June, 2013, President Obama said, “[We must] make sure that people aren’t suffering in silence” and that our goal “is not to start a conversation… it’s about elevating that conversation to a national level and bringing mental illness out of the shadows.” Our film of Chamique Holdsclaw’s journey is an excellent vehicle through which we can help do just that.
See our LOOK BOOK on the film.
Speed up the completion of this film! Click on the “Make a Donation” tab on the right side of this or any webpage. Contributions of $50 and more will ensure your name in the film’s credits, and an INVITE TO ONE OF OUR OPENING NIGHTS, currently planned for New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Berkeley, Knoxville, and Washington, D.C. All contributions, to the non-profit Kovno Communications, are tax-deductible.
Current Organizational Contributors (partial list): Berkeley Film Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, QPR Institute, The Carter Center (Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship).
In July, Rick Goldsmith was selected for the coveted 2013-14 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, for the production of his film, Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.
The Carter fellowships were established to “develop a cadre of journalists who can have a significant impact on the public’s understanding of mental illnesses” as part of a larger program “to provide the public with accurate and balanced depictions of those with mental illnesses to reduce stigma and discrimination.”
The year-long fellowship will give Rick the opportunity to work with leading mental health and journalism experts, which will enrich the depth, impact and reach of his film.
For more on the fellowship, go to http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/mhj-fellows-2013-2014.html.
Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw has been invited to participate in the 2013 Independent Film Week: “Discovering and Supporting Tomorrow’s Great Storytellers Today,” from September 15 – 19 in New York, NY.
Sponsored by the Independent Film Project (IFP), Independent Film Week is a gathering of filmmakers, potential financiers, festival programmers, buyers, collaborators and other industry members. Director Rick Goldsmith will be participating in their “Spotlight on Documentaries” Project Forum, which assists filmmakers in making connections at critical stages in their films’ production through meetings, panels and consultations. Mind/Game was one of 50 documentary films selected to attend.
For more information on the IFP, visit their website here.
- Chamique Holdsclaw speaks on her depression (Ebony)
- The institutional response to mentally ill (Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC) featuring one of Mind/Game’s advisors, Donna Barnes of the National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide
- Cost of not caring: Stigma set in stone (USA Today)
- Mentally ill crime victims ‘ignored’ (bbc.co.uk)