LITTLE BOY BLUE, 2004

This documentary blends startling statistics with expert testimony and a mock public service announcement to deliver a hard message to swallow about rising antidepressant use among children.

Featuring Alan Cassels, author, drug policy researcher and Adjunct Professor in the School of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria, BC.

When my son was six-years old I was asked by his after-school daycare to put him on Ritalin or take him out of care since, they’d determined, he had ADHD. I spoke to his teacher who was stunned at the “diagnosis” and assured me that my child was a normal grade 2 kid. Turns out he was acting out in daycare since they were feeding him food he was allergic to — which took me months to untangle. But that experience lead me to research and produce this documentary.

Over 11 million American children took antidepressant drugs in 2003. And the numbers are growing quickly-particularly among children aged five and younger. Little Boy Blue blends startling statistics with expert testimony, a mock public service announcement and words-from-the-mouths-of-babes to deliver a message that is a hard pill to swallow.

University of Victoria drug-policy researcher Alan Cassels asserts “the [pharmaceutical] industry is in basically two businesses-the business of creating chemicals and the business of creating disease.”

He examines the manipulative advertising techniques employed by drug companies and points out that they spend more money educating doctors about drugs than all medical schools in Canada combined. He also highlights the research of Dr. Andrew Mosholder, a senior epidemiologist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2003, Mosholder found that children given antidepressants were nearly twice as likely to become suicidal.

Ultimately, this cautionary documentary challenges parents to arm themselves with questions before putting their children in the hands of “experts.”

DISTRIBUTED BY: Moving Images Distribution

IT’S ABOUT A DIFFERENCE, 1988

Pips Tartar (pronounced peeps tar-tar) is not your average individual – she talks to fruits. A humourous and provocative journey into the mind of a most colourful character.

by Donna Barker and singer/song-writer Suzanne Nuttall.

Starring Pips Tartar as “A Difference”
Main Voice: Alexandra Robertson
Newscaster: Suzanne Nuttall
Other Voices: Mathieu Holland, Donna Barker

This 16mm film was produced with support from the Communications Studies Department at Concordia University, under the supervision of teacher/filmmaker Rick Hancox.

In 1988, having pink hair was highly uncommon and we used it as an analogy for intolerance against gender, sexuality, race, economic situation and so on. And yes, 30 years later it does feel a little ham-fisted! But it was a fun, second year, Communication Studies project that required us to work without sync-sound equipment. Crazy to think there was a time when sound wasn’t automagically attached to the image!