Private Project


Childhood trauma. Mental illness. Suicide.
After forty years, this filmmaker is finally RELEASED.
In conversation with a friend, therapy with an analyst, and a myriad of creative expression, this first time filmmaker’s thirty minute documentary short, 'RELEASED', exposes dark familial secrets, a broken mental health system, and the triumph of the human will over tragedy, trauma and self-harm.
Artist, actor, writer, Susan Spangenberg casts an unflinching eye and lands a stinging blow against abusive authoritarians, stigma and insensitivity.

  • Susan Spangenberg
  • Shyla Idris
    many on IMdb
  • Susan Spangenberg
    Key Cast
    Actor in Patient's Rites, a musical documentary
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Disability, Women's Issues, Children
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    35 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • American Psychological Film Festival and Conference 2015
    Toronto Canada
    August 6, 2015
  • South African Recovery Film Festival 2015
    Cape Town, South Africa
    September 22, 2015
  • REEL Recovery Film Festival 2015
    New York City
    October 20, 2015
Director Biography - Susan Spangenberg

Susan Spangenberg is a painter, actor, writer and filmmaker. She performs under her stage name Shyla Idris on IMDb. Susan believes in the power of transcendence through the arts. Her work is autobiographical, commenting on her experience in the mental health system. Her themes include issues of race, mental health and other areas of social injustice.

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Director Statement

Through my film, I hope to connect, give a voice to the voiceless and also inspire others to tell their stories as a way of healing and furthering the Mental Health Movement. As a psychiatric survivor myself, I am proud to say we are the future.

Link to Trailer: