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‘Orchestrating Change’ Profiles a Group Using Classical Music to Change Perceptions of Mental Illness

"Captivating characters, beautiful music, and people who are living satisfying lives despite the diagnosis of mental illness."

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Orchestrating Change

Logline: The documentary film that tells the inspiring story of Me2/Orchestra, the only classical music organization in the world for people living with mental illness and those who support them.

Elevator Pitch:

Ronald Braunstein, Me2/Orchestra’s founder and music director, was a Juilliard-trained, internationally-known conductor until he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Ronald’s manager dropped him and the classical music community shunned him. Ronald created Me2/Orchestra for musicians like himself living with mental illness. The documentary “Orchestrating Change” depicts the poignant and powerful ways Me2/Orchestra is transforming lives and creating a new model for the public’s perception of mental illness. The film’s final performance at a major concert hall combining both orchestras will be an emotional triumph not just for Ronald and the musicians but for the audience too.

Production Team:

Co-Executive Producers: Barbara Multer-Wellin and Margie Friedman

Barbara Multer-Wellin’s work has been seen on HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, TLC, KCET, The Discovery Channel, UPN. Lifetime, Fit-TV, TBS and HGTV. She won a 2013 LA Area Emmy for her work on the television series and web series, “Your Turn to Care,” also the winner of a 2013 Gracie Award. Barbara has produced and written two films for the acclaimed PBS documentary series, “Independent Lens.” “Take the Heat: The First Women Firefighters of New York City,” a documentary narrated by Susan Sarandon, is about the 20-year struggle to bring women into the New York Fire Department, an institution traditionally hostile to change rocked by the overwhelming trauma and loss of September 11th. The second film, “Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire,” narrated by Tom Brokaw, tracks the career of three-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist in the context of pop history of the eleven presidents Conrad has lampooned. Barbara is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and is a former Chair of the Documentary/Reality Committee of the Producer’s Guild of America.

Margie Freidman is an Emmy award winning producer, director and writer who began her career in news and has gone on to produce numerous primetime television and cable series and specials. Her documentary film, “Conducting Hope,” that tells the inspiring story of the only men’s prison choir in the United States to perform outside prison walls, began airing on public television stations throughout the country in November 2013. To read reviews and view clips, go to www.conductinghope.com.
Margie has also served as VP of Development for a television production company where she developed shows for the National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, WE, Travel Channel, TLC and E! Margie is familiar with the impact of music as the Co-Producer of the Mickey Mouse Club (Disney Channel), Supervising Producer of “Popstars” (WB) and Senior Talent Producer for “Star Search” (CBS). A graduate of UCLA Department of Film and Television, she received the Jim Morrison Film Award.

About the Film:

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 17 — about 13.6 million Americans — live with serious mental illnesses. Mental illness is one of the last taboo subjects, too often shrouded in shame and misunderstanding. Mental illness has no socio-economic bounds. Nearly everyone, including Co-Executive Producers Barbara Multer-Wellin and Margie Friedman, has a family member, friend, or colleague who suffers from some form of mental illness. “Orchestrating Change” features captivating characters, beautiful music, and people who are living satisfying lives despite the diagnosis of mental illness.

Current Status: Current Indiegogo campaign. This will cover next phase of filming but we will need more for filming the final concert and post.

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