Experiencing Interruptions?


20 YEARS OF MADNESS is a sincere and intimate portrait of an underground community held together by the desire to make each other laugh. When the eccentric cast of a mid-90’s Public Access show in Detroit reunite after 20 years to make a new episode, they are forced to take a hard look at their relationships and reconcile their teenage dreams with the realities of adulthood.

  • Jeremy Royce
  • Jeremy Royce
  • Jerry White Jr.
  • Kaveh Taherian
  • Will Jobe
  • Jeremy Royce
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama, Biography
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 23, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, VHS, Hi-8, U-matic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Slamdance Film Festival
    Park City, Utah
    January 23, 2015
    World Premiere
    Jury Honorable Mention
  • RxSM Self Medicated Film Expo
    Austin, Texas
    March 11, 2015
    Best Documentary
  • Freep Film Festival
    Detroit, Michigan
    March 20, 2015
    Michigan Premiere
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
    Cleveland, Ohio
    March 28, 2015
    Ohio Premiere
  • Boston Underground Film Festival
    Cambridge, MA
    March 29, 2015
  • Middle of the Map Film Festival
    Kansas City, MO
    April 12, 2015
  • Arizona International Film Festival
    Tucson, AZ
    April 18, 2015
  • Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
    Mammoth Lakes, CA
    May 30, 2015
  • Brooklyn Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    June 3, 2015
  • SF DocFest
    San Francisco, CA
    June 6, 2015
  • Oak Cliff Film Festival
    Dallas, TX
    June 13, 2015
    Best Documentary
  • FilmQuest Film Festival
    Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2015
    Best Documentary, Best Editing
  • Traverse City Film Festival
    Traverse City, Michigan
    August 30, 2015
  • Columbia Gorge Film Festival
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    August 7, 2015
  • Portland Film Festival
    United States
    September 15, 2015
  • Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival
    Bay City
    United States
    September 18, 2015
    Best Documentary Audience Award
  • Laughlin International Film Festival
    United States
    November 13, 2015
    Best U.S. Documentary Feature
Distribution Information
  • Gravitas
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Jeremy Royce

Jeremy Royce is based in Los Angeles, California. He earned an M.F.A. in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2013. Royce currently works as a freelance cinematographer and director. His work reflects a passion for stories of outsiders and people on the fringe of society.

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Director Statement

I first heard of 30 MINUTES OF MADNESS in 2009, shortly after Jerry and I first met. I had recently been accepted to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, into the same program that Jerry was enrolled in. He was one year ahead of me. We randomly moved into the same house before we met one another. As housemates and grad school colleagues, we shared a lot of our early work with each other. Jerry was quick to show me highlights of 30MOM soon after we met. I immediately related to the experience of being a teenager, falling in love with movie making and forming unique friendships with those who shared that love. Listening to Jerry’s stories, I recalled what it was like to be on the flip side of the norm. What Jerry created with that group of friends is that special bond of counterculture that’s not often understood in the mainstream. With the show, Jerry created a space for outsiders to collaborate and thrive. 20 YEARS OF MADNESS celebrates the spirit of the show, and the friendships of the show’s creators.

What struck me about Jerry and the show, was how the group came together in the first place. That kind of DIY spirit doesn’t often make you one of the cool kids. That kind of spirit can often kick you to the outside. I know that. This outsider narrative is important to me. When I was sixteen years old I snuck into the cinema and watched a movie called Dark Days, a documentary that shows the homeless population living in the abandoned subway tunnels under New York City. That film chronicles their struggle to survive on the fringes of society. At the time, I had recently run away from home; I left home at 16, and bounced around before settling in my own apartment at 17. When I watched Dark Days, I connected with the film’s themes of loneliness, survival and alternative society. I left the theater as though I could see the world in a new light. Seeing that film allowed me to see myself, and sparked a lifelong passion to tell stories about people who are often ignored by society. 20 YEARS OF MADNESS is part of my ongoing mission to tell that story.

Through our years at USC, Jerry continued to share the stories of his old friends with me. By 2011, Jerry and I were still living in the same house together and that summer he took a trip back to Michigan. It was that trip that started it all. As Jerry told me the colorful tales of reuniting with his 30MOM friends, and the struggles that they were facing, I was inspired to make 20 YEARS OF MADNESS.

We shot the bulk of the documentary the following summer of 2012. After that, I went through over 300+ hours of their VHS, Hi-8, and U-Matic archival footage. A key goal for me was to bring the energy of the TV show to current audiences. I wanted to bring that spirit of the ‘90s to the big screen, and it all began with Jerry’s tape collection.

As we began this filmmaking journey, I was impacted by the gift of friendship and resiliency. This was a group of teenagers that found each other, and began a friendship fueled by a shared passion. They were bonded to each to other, united by the youthful promise of the underground. They stood together as outsiders even when mainstream society didn’t understand. What I discovered while making 20 YEARS OF MADNESS, is how strong that bond is. As years pass, some friendships can fall through the cracks. But when given a chance to reconnect, those friendships manage to take on a new life, and the bonds run strong again. With 20 YEARS OF MADNESS, I want to challenge people to look differently at the outsiders and the struggles they face, and to remind ourselves to connect with each other, no matter the distance or time between us.