Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood issues of our time, and its representation in film often falls short. Borrowing from the life of our producer, Tim Rafferty, our story offers a realistic depiction of the funny and often heartbreaking experience of learning to manage a mental illness.
Inclusion StatementMental illness doesn't discriminate; it affects us all. And we couldn’t possibly address this inherent diversity without including the creative voices and experiences of an equally diverse cast and crew. Together, we hope to let those who might be suffering know that they are not alone.
About The Project
JACOB’S BROTHER is a film about MIKEY, an aspiring comedian, fresh off his first hospitalization in a psych ward. Mikey struggles to maintain his new routine—eating healthy, staying out of trouble, avoiding drugs and alcohol. But Mikey also refuses to accept his diagnosis—Bipolar Type I, considered the most severe form of this illness—and soon falls back into his old, bad habits. This strains his relationship with his adopted mother, IRIS, and his younger, more successful brother JACOB.
The meltdown that led to his hospitalization also earned him a community service sentence: 100 hours at a homeless shelter. While working there, he meets JERI, the shelter coordinator and a former addict herself, and BOLO, a volunteer with schizophrenia. As Mikey’s life once again unravels, he’s forced to make a choice: accept his diagnosis and manage his mental illness or risk losing his family, career, and sanity.
As the saying goes, not all wounds are visible. Mental illness affects us all—either personally or through someone we know. In fact, almost everyone on this production has struggled with mental illness in some form or another. And often, suffering from a mental illness renders a person invisible. Like our homeless epidemic, mental illness makes us uncomfortable, and sometimes, in our all-too-human fashion, we ignore the things that make us uncomfortable. Confronting those tendencies head-on is at the core of our purpose with this film.
Personally, I’ve battled depression since I was in my early teens. But my introduction to the story that inspired this particular film came through a creative partnership with Timothy Rafferty, star of the “Rent Tim” video series and namesake of a popular entree at KD’s Diner in Lake Charles, LA. We are both Louisiana natives who spent the first 25+ years of our life in Lake Charles. We both currently reside in Los Angeles, but Lake Charles continues to hold a special place in our hearts.
RETURNING TO OUR HOMETOWN
We plan to shoot the entirety of this film in our hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Our story is about a comedian with Bipolar Disorder, and Lake Charles is a town of extremes—at once, both urban and rural, industrial and creative. It is also the setting of the true story that inspired the film. But Lake Charles isn’t just a location for the film; Southwest Louisiana is home to an abundance of talent, and we are sourcing the majority of our cast and crew from the Lake Area.
WHAT YOUR SUPPORT MEANS
By donating to our production, you are supporting a group of young, diverse filmmakers who aim to create a film that both entertains and spreads an important social and emotional message: no matter what you’re going through, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. And most importantly, you are not alone.
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About This Team
Brian Bourque | Writer, Director
Lake Charles native. Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist, writer and director of award-winning documentary and short films, currently in his final year of the MFA Screenwriting program at CSU Northridge.
Tim Rafferty | Executive Producer
Lake Charles native. Actor, stand-up comedian, and improvisor, having trained at Playhouse West and the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. Tim has experience producing micro-budget short films in Louisiana.
Katharine White | Director of Photography
Award-winning director and cinematographer with experience in film, music video and commercial productions.
Tyler Walker | Marketing Director
Lake Charles Native. Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist, award-winning advertising creative director, currently serving as digital director to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Nita Curtis | Production Manager
Budget Analyst for the Internal Revenue Service, producer of numerous short and feature films. She is also currently in her final year of the MFA Screenwriting program at CSU Northridge.
John Escobar | Editor, Script Supervisor
Film editor from San Gabriel, CA. John studied Cinema and Television/Radio at Pasadena City College. He is a prolific producer and editor of narrative and commercial productions.
Sydni Dunn | Public Relations Director
Lake Charles native. Media relations professional with experience in higher education, government, and nonprofit, whose work has appeared in publications like The New York Times and VICE.
Jacob Rafftery | Producer
Lake Charles native, and the eponymous "Jacob." Former accountant for State Street Bank and operations analyst for Bright Horizons currently an account executive for FareHarbor.