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SAN DIEGO —The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will honor the film, CANVAS, with an “Outstanding Media Award” for a dramatic motion picture at its annual convention that opened today in San Diego.
The award will be presented to director/writer Joseph Greco and actors Joe Pantoliano and Devon Gearhart on Friday, June 22 at a special screening of the film. Sharing in the award is actress Marcia Gay Harden.
CANVAS is scheduled for release in theaters in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston on October 12, 2007 through Screen Media Films. It premiered last fall at the Hamptons International Film Festival and was screened privately at the 2006 NAMI convention in Washington, D.C., where it received an emotional standing ovation.
The NAMI award praises the film for its “accurate, balanced and compassionate” portrayal of a family transformed by mental illness. See www.canvasthefilm.com.
Academy Award winner Harden plays Mary Marino, a mother, who becomes ill with schizophrenia. Emmy Award winner Pantoliano is her husband John Marino, delivering a powerful, sensitive performance that is a dramatic contrast to the tough, wise guy roles he has played in The Sopranos and many movies, such as Memento and The Matrix.
Gearhart plays 12-year old Chris Marino, whose coming of age comes early, as his family navigates its difficult passage. Sailing and lighthouses are significant in the movie, which is inspired by a true story.
“CANVAS is marked by intense, tragic emotions, touches of humor and an enduring spirit of hope,” said NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick.
“It is one of the few films that is authentic in its portrayal of schizophrenia. It has the potential to touch the general public even more than the movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND, which was itself a breakthrough, because it focuses on the experience of an average family, rather than that of a Nobel Prize winning mathematician.”
“It is a film that ordinary people can identify with.”