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Press release


Latest from four-time Emmy winner has world broadcast premiere May 7 on TVO

April 14, 2014 - Toronto, Ontario – National Film Board of Canada

After capturing national acclaim last year for NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, four-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker John Kastner is back with his latest film, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, which will have its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 27, followed by its world broadcast premiere on TVO, May 7.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight is the follow-up to the Toronto filmmaker's 2013 NFB-co-produced documentary, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, which continues to have an enormous impact as Canada considers major changes to how it deals with people declared not criminally responsible (or “NCR”) for violent crimes, due to mental illness.

In Out of Mind, Out of Sight, Kastner intermingles the powerful stories of four patients, following an unprecedented 18 months of documentary filming inside the Brockville Mental Health Centre.

With stunning frankness, he follows two men and two women struggling to gain control over their lives so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. The main story focuses on a patient named Michael who, in a psychotic state, killed a much-loved family member and is now tormented by a guilt so great it is almost crippling. Carole and Sal are two patients battling auditory hallucinations―voices telling them to do bad things―who, incredibly, find romance with one another. Justine is a friend of the doomed Ashley Smith, who shares with her a very similar condition―and begins to travel down Smith's lonely road of extreme and self-destructive behaviour, to the consternation of staff.

Last year's NCR followed Sean Clifton, an Ontario man released by the Brockville Mental Health Centre back into society after eight years of treatment following a violent psychotic episode in which he attacked Julie Bouvier, a complete stranger, in a crowded shopping mall. Bouvier, who had been reluctant to be identified prior to making the film, attended the world premiere at Hot Docs 2013, in a powerful display of healing and reconciliation.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight is produced, directed and written by John Kastner. The film's producers are Deborah Parks, with Silva Basmajian as producer and executive producer for the NFB. The film is produced by J.S. Kastner Productions and the NFB, and was commissioned by TVO.


“I had never made a film on mental health before and to be honest I came to the project with many of the same prejudices other people have about forensic mental patients. Despite decades of filming killers and other violent prisoners in penitentiaries, I was spooked. But that changed for me, during my 18 months of filming―more time than any filmmaker's ever had in a Canadian forensic mental hospital. I came to see these patients as they really are: mostly gentle, good people who are not evil, just ill. I believe the centre made a courageous decision, the right decision, letting me make NCR and Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Because the only way to de-stigmatize the mentally ill is to get the rest of us to see them as real people, not monsters.”
John Kastner, filmmaker

Quick Facts

•    Out of Mind, Out of Sight will premiere at Hot Docs on April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre, followed by screenings at the Isabel Bader Theatre on April 30 at 1:30 p.m. and TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 on May 4 at 1:00 p.m.
•    TVO will air the world broadcast premiere of Out of Mind, Out of Sight on May 7 at 9 p.m., followed by an encore broadcast the same evening at midnight, on May 8 at 10 p.m., and on May 11 at 11 p.m.
•     Out of Mind, Out of Sight will also be available for streaming at docstudio.tvo.org and on TVO's Doc Studio iPad app, the day after its broadcast premiere.
•     NCR: Not Criminally Responsible has received glowing praise from Canadian mental health and law professionals, while critics have hailed it as “a breakthrough film… stunning” (Martin Knelman, Toronto Star) and said that “the importance and greatness of NCR: Not Criminally Responsible cannot be overstated” (John Doyle, Globe and Mail).
•    John Kastner has won four documentary Emmys—more than any other individual in Canadian television. He received International Emmys for his films Life with Murder, Fighting Back and Four Women, as well as a News & Documentary Emmy Award for The Lifer and the Lady.
•    In 2007, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television honoured Kastner with its lifetime Achievement Award. Kastner was also honoured at Hot Docs in 2012 with a Focus On retrospective.
•     Out of Mind, Out of Sight is Kastner's third co-production with the NFB, following NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (2013) and Life with Murder (2011), which received the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary at the Gemini Awards.

Promotional material

For downloadable hi-res images, go to < onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/press-room/photo-gallery/>.

Associated Links

•     Out of Mind, Out of Sight on TVO's Doc Studio site: http://docstudio.tvo.org/story/out-mind-out-sight
•     Out of Mind, Out of Sight trailer on TVO YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkmxOiG5Rr4

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Media Relations

For Hot Docs      
Jennifer Mair
NFB Publicist                            
Tel.: 416-954-2045                       
Cell: 416-436-0105                      
E-mail: j.mair@nfb.ca

Lily Robert
Director, Corporate Communications, NFB
Tel.: 514-283-3838  
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: l.robert@nfb.ca

For TVO broadcast
Jeremy Katz
Publicist - J.S. Kastner Productions
Tel.: 416-656-6970
Cell: 416-997-6970
E-mail: jeremyk@sympatico.ca

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 9 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.