Rendezvous with Madness

The Rendezvous with Madness Festival is the first and largest arts and mental health festival in the world. The Festival runs October 15-25, 2020 and showcases a range of feature and short films from around the globe, as well as the Re:Building Resilience exhibition featuring visual, media and performance art installations. The entire festival will be delivered virtually, so all patrons can engage with the programming safely from home.


Programming Highlights | 2020

Opening FIlm: Judy Versus Capitalism

This reverent, experimental portrait of iconic Canadian journalist, feminist and activist Judy Rebick touches on her struggles with mental health and childhood traumas as she becomes a pivotal figure in Canada’s progressive movements. Director Mike Hoolboom presents a poignant portrait of Rebick using her own words layered with striking Super-8 footage, contextualized within a stream of consciousness that chronicles Judy’s iconic moments in Canadian history with a lens on her own personal histories and internal landscape.

➡ Available to stream online: Thu, Oct 15, 8 PM through Sun, Oct 25, 8 PM
➡ Virtual Q&A: Thu, Oct 15, 9 PM

Re:Building Resilience Exhibition

Building Resilience features 25 artist projects and installations that examine all facets of mental health issues. Virtual viewing is available throughout the festival. With your ticket, you will have access to a virtual tour that includes a virtual swag bag with extra features from the 25 projects on offer.

➡ Available virtually :October 15 – 25

Spotlight Film: Les heures heureuses (Our Lucky Hours)

In the Saint-Alban psychiatric clinic in France’s Lozère region, they didn’t use straightjackets, solitary confinement or other forms of coercion. Patients moved freely, received ergonomic therapy, worked at a nearby farm and even went on trips with supervisors. Weaving recently discovered archival materials with current interviews, this captivating documentary presents the instigators of such unconventional approaches between 1936 and the mid-1970s. Les heures heureuses is a testament and urgent appeal to apply courageousness and inventiveness in today’s mental health healing spaces.

➡ Available to stream online: Mon, Oct 19, 8:45 PM to Wed, Oct 21, 8:45 PM
➡ Virtual Q&A: Thu, Oct 22, 5 PM

Madwomxn | In collaboration with Pleasure Dome

Women-identified people’s relationship with madness has always been distinct; from the archetypal ‘madwoman in the attic,’ to individual experiences of womxn consumers / survivors / ex-inmates, to the ‘mad’ cultural expectations of femininity in everyday life. Throughout Western history women have been viewed as irrational, their bodies designated as aberrant and posited as the cause of mental disturbances, e.g. hysteria. At the intersections of racialization and transphobia, the confluence of mental illness and femme becomes even more fraught and perilous.

➡ Available to stream online: Tue, Oct 20, 6 PM to Thu, Oct 22, 6 PM
➡ Virtual panel/Q&A: Thu, Oct 22, 6 PM

Quarantine Blues: Recent Workman Arts Member Films

This imaginative and exciting shorts program showcases the endless bounds of filmmaking as a creative outlet. Together through their willingness to creatively explore their surroundings and even document their daily-lives during a global pandemic, these filmmakers prove that the most critical equipment for filmmaking is yourself, your imaginative mind, and your freedom to use both.

➡ A Streaming for free on VUCAVU ( October 13-27
➡ Virtual panel/Q&A:
Fri, Oct 16, 4 pm

This is Not A Burial, it's a Resurrection

Set in the stunning landscape of the Lesotho mountains, this unique film follows the story of an 80-year-old widow, Mantoa. Mantoa eagerly awaits her son’s return from work in the mines; instead, she learns of his death. Her immense grief is framed within the Provincial decree to relocate her village in order for development of a dam and reservoir, threatening to flood and erase everything that she holds dear.

➡ Available to stream online: Thu, Oct 22, 9 PM to Sat, Oct 24, 9 PM
➡ Virtual Q&A:
Sat, Oct 24, 9 PM