Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Wish Horse

Once in awhile, as a writer, I have the privilege of meeting a kindred spirit. Lisa Ford is one such spirit. Her latest film project, "The Wish Horse" hits me square in the forehead as the kids in the story live with a parent who has a mental illness. In this particular story, a 13-year-old boy has to look after his younger sister when their mother abandons them. And the horse? Well, believing it can grant wishes may be just what these kids need to help them cope.

My brother and sisters and I grew up with a parent with a mental illness. We knew something was different from other kids' lives but it took us awhile to figure out that it is just not normal for a mother to kick in a bedroom door in at 4:00 a.m. and accuse us of stealing her panties. We love our mom and we each tried in our own ways to earn her affection. I was the over-achiever. My sister would act out in attempts to get my mother's attention. My brother tried being her friend and confidante. But what we all had in common was how we retreated into our imaginations, our music, our books, and our dreams. This is why this film is so important to me.

Worried because it's a message film and it might be a downer? Lisa's last film, Prodigy, was a beautiful, poetic piece of work. Mental illness is rampant in parents of children I volunteer with and if we don't learn recognize it, nobody can help these kids.
According to Michele D. Sherman of Social Work Today, “More than five million children in the United States have a parent with a serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.” Our hope is that the characters in our fictional story will resonate with audiences and start a conversation about this important issue. Lisa Ford
Consider helping Lisa Ford accomplish her goal and support "The Wish Horse" by clicking here.  Every donation amount will help bring this film to life and when you think about all the money we spend on Netflix and Red Box and the movie theater, $10 or $20 to bring a story like this to film sounds like a worthy use of our movie money.

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