Hanging on a Thread: Coping Through Comedy

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Tue Jun 15, 5:00pm

WORLD PREMIERE OF AWARD-WINNING

MENTAL HEALTH FILM “WITHDRAWALS”

This premiere and post-screening panel aims to destigmatize mental health through humor

and raise proceeds for mental health organization Comedy Gives Back.

VIRTUAL Event - Tuesday 15 June 2021-- “Withdrawals,” an award-winning comedy short film fresh off the festival circuit is premiering publicly on June 15 at 4pm PST/7pm EST, followed by a post-screening conversation on Zoom titled “Hanging on by a Thread: Coping Through Comedy” with panelists Dr. Courtney Tracy (@the.truth.doctor), Randall Otis (The Daily Show), Jared Goldstein (CBS’s The Unicorn) and more to be announced.

Tickets are donation-based, with proceeds going to Comedy Gives Back, an organization that provides medical, mental health and crisis support to comedians. They are for sale through Eventbrite at bit.ly/withdrawalspremiere.

Withdrawals is a semi-autobiographical dark comedy about four friends who decide to quit their antidepressants cold-turkey together, after feeling nothing when their childhood pop icon dies. Their varying side-effects mirror the real withdrawals of quitting antidepressants, which are still mainly anecdotal and dangerously under-researched. In a (sorta) post-pandemic world, mental health problems have skyrocketed, with the number of adults reporting depression and anxiety disorders growing from 11% in 2019 to over 40% in 2021 (Source: KFF.org).

Withdrawals has been an Official Selection at Hollywood Comedy Shorts Film Festival, LA Femme International Film Festival, The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival and more. It has won awards at the Austin Comedy Film Festival, Believe Psychology Festival, Festigious International Film Festival, Indie X Awards and the Independent Shorts Awards.

Created by comedians and mental health advocates Jorja Hudson (writer/director) and Kelly Stier (executive producer), the film aims to use humor to open a dialogue about the somehow-still-stigmatized topic of mental health. The film is elevated by a cast of up-and-coming New York City comedians, previously seen on Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Refinery29, Netflix and more.