Anna Samson What If It Works?
Cast: Luke Ford, Anna Samson, Brooke Satchwell, Wade Briggs
Director: Romi Trower
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Synopsis: Romi Trower's What If It Works? is a colourful dramedy about finding the courage to love and be loved, against all odds.
Adrian (Luke Ford), an irrepressibly chirpy tech nerd, suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Grace (Anna Samson), a beautiful street artist, suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder).
In their own way, each is trapped. As new neighbours, in an edgy, graffitied suburb of Melbourne, they find themselves in therapy with the same psychiatrist and crash into each other one afternoon.
Grace has a promiscuous -alter' who engages in damaging sex - and that is the extent of her physical experience. Adrian had a high school girlfriend a decade earlier, whom he never got over, and that is the extent of his physical experience. And as if that's not enough, Adrian's ex (Brooke Satchwell) turns up, to really mess things up.
As Adrian becomes aware of a threat to Grace lurking in the form of a fellow street artist named -Sledgehammer' (Wade Briggs), Adrian knows he should help Grace. But he struggles to break free of his OCD in order to do it.
Will he overcome his biggest fear?
Will he sacrifice the object he loves most?
What if Adrian forgot his illness for a spilt second because of his love for Grace?
It seems impossible.
But what if it works?
What If It Works?
Release Date: October 12th, 2017
About The Production
This is a film about human beings finding the inner strength to solve their own loneliness; not via the more common sexual romantic relationship that we often see in both film and in life, but through true friendship and deep understanding. It celebrates the notion of love, tolerance and meaningful human connection, and the endless possibility, courage and happiness it fosters. Oh, and it's colourful and fun and features tons of cool music (Manu Chau, Rufus, City Calm Down, The Jungle Giants, Dustin Tebbutt, My Own Pet Radio).
Background To The Film:
Romi's interest in telling this story is born of her personal experiences. She has an older brother with a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Her brother has suffered with this since she was a child and has worsened over the years. Her aunt is a psychiatrist who specializes in Dissociative Identity Disorder and it is her career that sparked Romi's growing fascination with this disorder over many years. Romi's mother is also a psychotherapist who specializes in sexual therapy, and dinnertime conversation often revolved around OCD, DID and sexual difficulty and dysfunction – interesting stuff for an eight year-old. Romi has had the privilege of getting to know individuals with DID, and has witnessed the process of switching between alters or -parts', and has sat through riveting therapy sessions.
Romi felt compelled to tell a story about characters such as Grace and Adrian as they are so real to her, that it felt only natural to give them a voice through the script, and to tell a story of eccentricity and truth. -A story that is exuberant, comic and colourful, yet has the sting of life.'
Dissociative Identity Disorder: a brief explanation:
DID (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is largely the result of childhood, trauma, abuse and sexual abuse. It is developed at a young age, almost always under about 8 years of age, as a coping mechanism for situations which are unbearable for a child. When a child is abused by a parent or caretaker, the biological drive to seek safe attachment from the very person who is unsafe may result in dissociation, whereby the child absents herself and imagines that the abuse is happening to someone else DID involves the fracturing of the mind into many -alters' or -parts'. The term -alter' or -part' refers to the various -characters' or -personalities' existing within the person who has DID. There can be over twenty parts existing in one person's internal system. The system refers to the map and/or structure of the fractured mind that harbours the parts. Often a person with DID believes and visualises that they have a structure such as a house or a castle inside of them, where various parts live in different rooms and/or levels of the structure. Some parts are aware of one another, some are not. Some parts can communicate with other parts, or hear what the other parts are saying both in the internal world and in the external world, whereas others are blocked and cannot. It is the job of the therapist to help connect and fill in the blanks for the patient. The patient often presents in their -host' personality, which may often be the person whose identity actually matches their birth name, and then some of their parts may appear at times, whilst others may remain hidden. Certain emotions and situations in the external world can trigger particular parts to appear. It is very common for DID sufferers to experience flashbacks to their abuse.
Very often, people with DID have a promiscuous or -sexual' part who seeks out sexual activity, but only in a damaging situation, because their abuse has taught them to associate sexual activity with shame and badness. This is often one of the trickiest parts to deal with for the therapist, especially when the person is trying to engage in a positive and romantic relationship as an adult.
OCD: a brief explanation:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can manifest in a very moderate or very extreme way. OCD sufferers may have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviours that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). A person with OCD may have obsessive urges to perform rituals such as cleaning or checking. It often begins in one part of a person's life but can spread to many other areas. Some people are able to hide their rituals and obsessions, or confine them to a particular area of their life, whilst others are completely overtaken by the illness, which most often defies logic, and propels the person suffering to continuously perform rituals to ease their anxiety. Even though the person carries out the behaviours or rituals to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, most often the ritual performed only provides temporary or partial relief, and this may cause the person to then search for another ritual, or to build on an existing one. This process can be without an end, and those who suffer from an extreme form of OCD, such as director Romi Trower's brother (upon whom the character of -Adrian' is based), may find themselves caught in ritual for the majority of their day. Somebody who suffers from a severe compulsion to wash themselves, may be stuck for 48 hours in a bathroom, washing their body and cleaning their surroundings. There are those who are rarely able to leave the house because they are unable to predict how long their rituals will take, which makes meetings, appointments and a work life impossible. There are those who compromise their physical health ie their skin may be traumatized from overuse of soap or scrubbing with chemicals, yet they continue to scrub. There is medication available for this disorder, and whilst it works for many people, it does not work for everyone. The person has to want to change, and often manual therapy or desensitization therapy should accompany the treatment.
What If It Works?
Release Date: October 12th, 2017