In recognition of Black History Month and to raise awareness of mental illness, NAMI Wisconsin will be screening the film Home, the story of a man living with mental illness who attempts to rebuild his life through courage, hope and strength. Perhaps the most exciting part of this event is that writer, producer and director of the film, Jono Oliver, will be visiting Madison all the way from Brooklyn, NY to attend the screening.
"We are ecstatic that Jono Oliver is willing to make a trip to Madison to join us for the screening!" says Julianne Carbin, Executive Director of NAMI Wisconsin. "His presence is a real draw for many of our community partners who are helping to increase our visibility and reach." One major goal is to make the event accessible to anyone who wants to attend. Therefore many details were considered including the venue, cost and transportation. "This event has great potential to reach a diverse audience and we want to take advantage of that, especially during Black History Month."
NAMI Wisconsin is also thrilled about the excitement other community organizations have expressed around the event. After realizing the potential of this event, NAMI Wisconsin reached out to other groups like the NAACP, Salvation Army and YWCA for possible partnerships. The positive response we received from other organizations wanting to take part has been overwhelming.
The inspiring independent film, Home, stars actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, known for his role as Chris Partlow on The Wire. Akinnagbe plays Jack, a man living with schizophrenia whose goal is to move out of the group home where he resides and into a home of his own. In doing so, he hopes to salvage his relationship with his young son, reestablish his life and try to achieve some sense of normalcy. We see the world through Jack’s eyes, which allows us to both root for him and fear that he may not, in fact, be ready for his own place.
Oliver’s intention for the film was to show regular people who we might not be used to seeing on screen- people we walk by on the street, taking for granted all that they might be going through and might have to offer the world. He finds inspiration in the stories with challenges for characters that might seem small to some of us—such as getting a new job, asking a person out for a date, or finding an apartment. Growing up, Oliver’s parents were social workers. His mother was a school social worker with the NYC Board of Education and his father ran a mental health clinic in Brooklyn.
Just a year ago, Oliver found himself up against Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Oscar winner Steve McQueen for the directing prize during the NAACP’s annual Image Awards. Home also won a 2014 SAMSHA Voice award, 2014 Prism award for Best Feature Film, and 14 festival awards. Not bad for a first-time feature filmmaker.
The film screening will take place at the Barrymore Theatre on Thursday, February 26th, from 5:30p.m. - 10p.m., located at 2090 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI, 53704. Meet & Greet with Writer/Director/Producer Jono Oliver from 5:30p.m. – 7p.m. along with provided refreshments. Film screening begins at 7:00 p.m. and a LIVE Q&A to follow with Jono Oliver after the film. While the event is free, at-will donations are encouraged; at-will donations made online are tax-deductible.
We ask that you pre-register if you would like to attend this event so we can get a head count. (Pre-registration does not guarantee you a seat.) Register online now!
Watch the movie trailer below!
Thank you to our community sponsors:
Food for this event is provided by:
The Salvation Army, Madison Area Urban Ministry, The Road Home, YWCA, Madison Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, NAACP Dane County, Madison Network of Black Professionals, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, Urban League Young Professionals, Urban League of Greater Madison, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Porchlight Inc, Sankofa Behavioral & Community Health, Madison Area Technical College Occupational Therapy program, The Madison Chapter of The Links, 100 Black Men of Madison, African American Communication and Collaboration Council