The Mental Health Association of Portland is preparing to make a documentary film about the Oregon State Hospital.
Announced in the Spring, our progress was derailed by severe cutbacks in charitable foundation funding – it just didn’t make sense to begin a new project when philanthropists were shifting needed funds and attention to basic services.
Now in the Fall as the economy is beginning to look more optimistic, it’s likely foundations will be more receptive to our proposals.
The budget for this feature-length theatrical release documentary film is $300,000.
Important progress has occurred in the past months. We’ve created a group of advisers to the film, experts in law, medicine, politics, social work, and advocacy, to help guide the creative decisions of the filmmakers.
We’ve collected a library of documents, both historical and current, both published and unpublished, about the hospital. These documents have been digitized and distributed to a group of volunteer readers, who have been meeting regularly to both read the stack of some 10,000 pages, and to cull from these documents the themes and content of the future film.
The reading group will then be able to both expertly and with a great depth of knowledge inform the writers and director of the film about where to point the camera.
A grant proposal has been written to provide the initial support for the film. Foundation funding will be complimented by funds from individuals and families interested in the hospital and interested in the care of persons with mental illness.
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