Lisa co-directed OF TWO MINDS (2012), a journey into the lives of remarkable people living, struggling, and triumphing with bipolar disorder. OTM won a SAMHSA VOICE Award and an EIC Prism Award… the most significant awards for a mental health documentary, and has been seen by sold-out audiences at screenings across the country, as well as becoming a top documentary on Netflix. Lisa co-owns MadPix, Inc., an independent production company in Los Angeles, with her husband Doug Blush.
My name is Lisa Klein and I am the director of THE S WORD. As a survivor of both my father’s and brother’s suicides, I have struggled with the ‘whys’ for years, along with the guilt, shame, and confusion that lingers in suicide’s wake. I will never know why my dad ended his life. And, nobody talked about my brother. My mother could never bring herself to say the words, “My son killed himself.” No mother should have to say that. Ever.
There is no more highly charged personal issue for me, and for that reason I am driven to document it and open a much needed conversation. It is time for us to boldly talk about suicide because no family should have to experience that which radiates outward for generations to come.
Doug BlushProducer/Supervising Editor
Doug is utilizing his vast experience as producer, editor and writer of Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Peabody award-winning films and television shows to help shape this film. His credits include: 2013 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, as well as WORDPLAY (2006); I.O.U.S.A (2008); THESE AMAZING SHADOWS (2011); and THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE (2015). He was also recently Supervising Editor of JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY, winner of the 2016 Sundance Audience Award. Throughout his career Doug has worked on projects that bring about social change, including the Oscar-nominated THE INVISIBLE WAR (2013), and THE HUNTING GROUND (2015). He is the co-founder of MadPix, Inc. and recently was named a Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Julian is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker whose projects have participated at Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, and Tribeca Film Festivals and have been twice shortlisted for the Academy Awards. As producer, his award-winning documentary The Crash Reel follows the dramatic fall and rise of snowboarder Kevin Pearce. The film premiered at the Sundance film festival and was nominated for a Gotham Award and a DGA Award among others. Other credits include A History of Cuban Dance (2016),The Lion’s Mouth Opens (2015), and the award-winning fiction feature Greencard Warriors. He is currently in post-production with the fiction feature You Were Never Here, starring Mireille Enos and Sam Shepard. Originally from Hong Kong, Julian is also partner/founder at Good ‘n Proper, a production and management company.
Kurt co-directed and co-produced THESE AMAZING SHADOWS (2011), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is distributed through IFC/Sundance Selects, won best documentary at the Savannah and Louisville film festivals, a Cine Golden Eagle, and had multiple broadcasts on the PBS series Independent Lens.
Gianna Maria SmartProducer
Gianna is an Emmy Award-winning producer for her work on THE SOPRANOS (2007). Most recently she Co-Produced the HBO Series ENLIGHTENED (2012) with Mike White and Laura Dern. After grad school, Gianna worked in TV as a Post Production Coordinator on NORTHERN EXPOSURE and an Associate Producer on JUDGING AMY. She became Post Production Coordinator at Dreamworks and oversaw the animated features PRINCE OF EGYPT and ANTS.
Patricia Harris DilevaCo-Producer
Pat has over 20 years of event management experience, including stints as Promotions Director for the Los Angeles Marathon, Project Director of Perelman, Pioneer & Company, a Los Angeles based event management firm that specializes in sports and entertainment, and Senior Director of Media Operations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Throughout her career Pat has overseen the development and execution of a variety of major events. She brings this extensive event background to THE S WORD, overseeing the development of outreach and marketing programs and fundraising events in support of the film.
Josh Bayer is a writer, director, editor and cinematographer from West Bloomfield, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011, edited and art directed music videos for Giant Eel Productions (a startup company in Detroit specializing in 3D media) and wrote and directed an award-winning short film for Super Soaker in 2012. He has since migrated to Los Angeles, where he is currently filming and editing documentaries with MadPix Films, and was lead editor on the recently finished romantic comedy feature “Cloudy With A Chance Of Sunshine.” His short films (ranging from the brazenly experimental to the darkly comedic) have appeared in festivals nationwide (Palm Springs, CineQuest, Accolade, Zero, Detroit Independent, etc.), and are a source of joy among kindergartners, stay-at-home hipster dads, and food lovers.
Dr. William Schmitz, Jr., Past President, American Association of Suicidology
Dr. John Draper, Project Director, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Dr. Thomas Joiner, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University
Dr. April Foreman, Psychologist, Southeast Louisiana Veteran’s Health Care System