Broken Diamonds – aspiring writer unexpectedly must care for his unstable sister
Broken Diamonds tells the story of a young writer sees his dream put in jeopardy when he has to take care of his mentally ill sister. In the wake of his father’s death, a twenty-something writer sees his dream of moving to Paris put in jeopardy when he’s forced to temporarily take in his wildly unpredictable, mentally ill sister.
Scott Weaver drives in his car practicing French to an audiotape. He celebrates his going away party at work. He discusses his plans of moving to Paris to be a writer. His stepmother Cookie calls, informing him that his dad has passed away in his sleep, and Scott needs to pick up his sister and come see the body before the crematorium van arrives. Scott takes his sister Cindy to their dad’s house. During the drive Cindy changes her mind and wants to go home, but there’s no turning back. Cindy refuses to see the body and asks Cookie if she killed her father. On the car ride home, Scott tells Cindy that he’s leaving town and Cindy complains about her neighbors. When Scott takes Cindy home, we discover she lives in a halfway house for the mentally ill, and he must temporarily take her in.
Available from FilmRise
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT – Peter Sattler
No other film has dealt with the topic of schizophrenia like BROKEN DIAMONDS does – this film makes it real. Everyone has had some kind of experience with someone they know or close to them that has a form of mental illness. In addition to being entertaining, the goal is to have this film break the stigma of mental illness by showing the truth behind it. The film encourages people to be more understanding about this illness, and to realize that when it comes to schizophrenia there are no antagonists, only victims. The antagonist is the mean and nasty illness itself. Most important is that this is the first honest and true screen play to look at the disease this way. Reality rears its ugly head when Scott and Cindy run into Cindy’s best friend from high school at the Sweet Scoop Ice Cream Shop. Julie recalls how Cindy was the most talented actor in her teens and just assumed that Cindy would be starring in television series and movies now. When she and her friend invite Cindy and Scott to their party, here are embarrassing scenes as the night unfolds.
In BROKEN DIAMONDS audiences will see a film about forgiveness and compassion, and hopefully spark a conversation about what mental illness really is. Schizophrenia is out there, with many people affected by the illness in one way or another. People need to talk about it. We can see disability if someone is in a wheelchair, but we can’t see what is happening in someone’s mind.
Steve was motivated to write this script because it has taken up so much of his life. As the story is so personal, Steve had to trust the producers that took on his personal story to make it into a movie. In Black Label he found the people he could trust to bring his story to life. Steve couldn’t be happier with the cast chosen, and everyone involved.
He wrote this story as a screenplay, as he had never seen schizophrenia shown in a realistic way. This is an opportunity for people to understand what it is really like. The message Steve wants to share is that schizophrenia is a devastating disease that destroys families, and it’s important for people to understand that those afflicted with mental illness aren’t to blame. We can’t expect schizophrenics to act like they are normal, even though that is what they wish for. It is a challenge just to get them on medication, keep on medication and be sure that it is the right medication. Without it, they lose all touch with reality.
Why watch BROKEN DIAMONDS? It is great story that talks about something people haven’t really seen on the subject of schizophrenia, written with humor and irony, and told in a unique way. This film is going to touch people.
Black Label Media has produced other films with a message including THE GOOD LIE. For instance, the feature film ONLY THE BRAVE has been screened to help firefighting foundations. Once the distribution plan is in place plans are to see how this movie can be shared with Mental Health societies and programs to shine a light on the illness in a real and helpful way. The desire is that the movie will communicate a hopeful message – a morality tale that moves you and make you laugh.
With the support from the medical community and Peter using real people in focus groups, they are able to show the audience how real people deal with the illness. The actors talked to people and watched films and documentaries on the subject to make their characters real. The filmmakers spoke to numerous experts on the disease and had amazing responses from the Schizophrenia societies and groups in Los Angeles and in British Columbia.
Black Label Media would like to see the film help to increase awareness and understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness. The dream scenario would be to use the feature as a tool for education, for mental health groups to share with their members, and for audiences to learn to do with schizophrenics the same thing that Scott did in the movie – to forgive.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.