Sunday, July 24, 2016

Destigmatize Mental Illness, Suicide and Addiction

I recently learned of a new film that William Dickerson is working on.  It is based upon his novel, "No Alternative".  The purpose is to help destigmatize mental illness, addiction and suicide.

When I first read about it, my heart was moved by the video that he has put together describing the project.  I've suffered from mental illness and I've also dealt with attempted suicide in my own life.  This project touches me closely.

I sat down with William to talk a little more about his film and ways that we could help him see this completed.  It is too important of a subject for anything to stop this from being seen by everyone in this world.

You can also find his book, No Alternative, on Amazon.

Click to learn more about the film: No Alternative.

Here's my interview with William Dickerson. 

What brought you to do this project?

This is an adaptation of my novel, "No Alternative," which I wrote as a type of plea for my mentally ill sister's survival, and a love song to the era I came of age in: the early 1990's. Since publishing my novel in 2012, my sister passed away from her illness and the motivation to make this film became bigger than ever.

What do you hope to accomplish with this film?

I hope to make an entertaining film about an important era in pop culture and destigmatize mental illness, addiction and suicide in the process. I have no doubt this is a movie that teenagers of yesterday, today and tomorrow can, and will, relate to.

In what ways are the rapper in the film similar to your sister and in what ways is she different?

I plan to portray the rapper in the film as close to my sister's real life rap persona as possible. The character of Bridget, when she's not Bri Da B, is modeled after my sister, too, but there is also a fair share of artistic license that I'm employing.

What impact did Kurt Cobain's suicide have on you?  How did that affect you?

It had an indelible impact on me. It was the reason I picked up a guitar and began to learn how to play it. There was something inside me that wanted to pick up where Kurt left off: I learned all his songs and formed a band, ultimately forging an indie career that was highly influenced by Kurt and his music.

Why did you choose the grunge-era?

It is my opinion that there hasn't been as important a time in pop culture since the grunge-era. For me, it's not even a close call. Just about 20 to 25 years after an important moment in time, people usually begin to become nostalgic about it. The time is now for the 90's to be explored on film.

How can people help?

I am currently crowdfunding through From The Heart Productions, which is a non-profit organization that supports socially conscious filmmaking. Contributions are tax-deductible and I would encourage people to check out the online campaign for the film here: I need all the help and support I can get!

Thank you very much William for taking the time to sit with me for this interview.  I hope that many more people will read this and find a way to help you make this happen.  It is such an important subject that needs to be talked about in every way possible.  Please click on the link above or on the banner image below to learn more about this film and how you can help bring it to life.


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