Film Title: Adherence
Film Synopsis: Over the course of one day in an inpatient psychiatric ward, we witness the intertwined stories of a man on the verge of discharge, an Orthodox Jewish woman whose newborns have strained her marriage, and a man whose treatment at the hands of the mental health system has devastating consequences.
Key People (e.g. cast, crew, etc.):
Written & Directed by Mav Block
Produced by Devin Tusa
Cinematography by Cale Nichols
Production Design by Terra Joy McNerthney
Edited by Peter Zachwieja and Alan Low
Music Arranged & Performed by Harlan Muir
Why did you decide to submit to FirstGlance?
It was an easy choice to make: I’m from the Philadelphia area, and FirstGlance is the authentic independent film festival in Philadelphia. Ignoring FirstGlance’s reputation as a festival that treats filmmakers and their work well, it’s a homecoming of sorts — in more ways than one: when I was in high school I acted in a play that went up for a performance at the Painted Bride Arts Center, coincidentally FirstGlance’s venue this year. There’s a nice poetry to it.
Will someone from your team be attending FirstGlance?:
Yes! I will be attending FirstGlance. There may be others as well. I was New York-based for the past five years, and I have the feeling a couple of my collaborators there may journey down.
What is something you feel is important for our readers to know about your film?
How to Tell a True Psych Ward Story. There’s a book I read for class in high school, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. One of the stories in it was called “How to Tell a True War Story”. It’s frequently taught material. In the case of art — whether literature or film — truth doesn’t matter. Factual truth, anyway. It’s the emotion and feeling that have to be true. Borrowing from a professor I had, filmmaker Carlos De Jesus, it’s this “documentary Truth” that matters. Truth with a capital T.
What should viewers expect from your film?
I hope that my film challenges viewers, and that viewers are engaged by the challenge.
Do you have any production stories our readers might enjoy?
We shot in an actual inpatient psychiatric ward in Newark, NJ. It ceased operation some months prior, and the building was supposed to be torn down the following year. Some of the crew decided to sleep in the psych ward instead of go back to New York with the pass vans — some of Production department, including Devin, pretty much never left the psych ward for the entire duration of the shoot (5 days). In the course of nights spent there, they discovered the floor above us was gutted and abandoned, and proceeded to shoot random footage on their own cameras. There were some rumors of ghosts.
What are you looking forward to most at FirstGlance?:
To be perfectly honest, I can’t wait to watch a Philadelphia audience watch my film. No serious creative work of mine has been made or shown in Philadelphia since I left after high school. I’m curious how an audience in the city of my birth will react to something I have made.
What day and time is your film playing at FirstGlance?
Sunday, November 13th at 3:30 PM.
Where can our readers find more information about your film?: On our Facebook page (https://facebook.com/adherencefilm) or our website (http://adherencefilm.com) — though admittedly the website is lagging behind in updates.
For more information on the FirstGlance Film Festival, or to buy tickets, visit their website.