In 2011, Eric, diagnosed schizophrenic, faces a critical choice - comply with traditional mental health treatment or follow his own path to wellness. CRAZY provides a front row seat to one person’s struggle with his illness, his family, the local mental health system, psych meds and the right to make his own treatment decisions. (Doc feature, 60 mins)

  • Lise Zumwalt
  • Lise Zumwalt
  • Tony Breuer, Co-Producer
  • Brian Wengrofsky
  • Lise Zumwalt
  • Tony Breuer
  • Randy Lee
    Field producer/shooter
  • Anthony Rhoads
    Motion Graphics
  • Peter Fish
    Original music
  • Janet Grillo
    Executive Producer
  • Jeffrey Tuchman
    Executive Producer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Completion Date:
    November 16, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    93,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, multiformat
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Impact Doc Awards
    New York
    United States
    January 10, 2017
    Award of Merit Special Mention: Documentary Feature
  • Respect Human Rights Belfast
    March 4, 2017
  • Sheffield Doc/Player
    United Kingdom
    June 9, 2017
  • NewFilmmakers NY
    New York
    United States
    July 19, 2017
    NY Premier
  • Awareness Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 15, 2017
    West Coast, LA
  • Austin Revolution Film Festival Finalist
  • Voiceless International Film Festival
    United States
    October 22, 2017
    Women Director
  • Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival
    Sag Harbor
    United States
    December 1, 2017
  • Shadows of the Mind Film Festival
    March 1, 2018
  • Vinfen Moving Images Festival
    United States
    March 24, 2018
  • Worldfest Houston Finalist
    United States
  • Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 11, 2018
    Best Documentary
  • ReelAbilities Film Festival Finalist
    New York
    United States
Distribution Information
  • Espresso Media
    Country: Israel
    Rights: Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Free TV, Paid TV
Director Biography - Lise Zumwalt

Lise Zumwalt has produced, written and edited films for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION, PBS, WNET, BBC, NBC, THE HISTORY CHANNEL and the DISCOVERY CHANNEL on series including NATURE, NOVA, WIDE ANGLE, WHO CARES ABOUT GIRLS, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS & LOCKDOWN and has won 14 awards for her work. Highlights include: SEX WORKERS OR VICTIMS, an investigation into the domestic sex trade of teenage girls with reporter Lisa Ling, (Gracie Award for Outstanding Documentary ML), IN-BETWEEN, innovative segments about the economy from mainstreamers like Nouriel Roubini to outsiders like Rev. Billy Thalen and LATE TALKERS, a documentary short on young people with speech and language impairments. CRAZY, an indie doc feature debuts in 2017.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Many people have asked me why I made CRAZY. And the answer is I got hooked. After decades working in television, I was looking for stories that aren’t being told when I came across an article about a group of people diagnosed with mental disorders that were going to weekly meetings, 12 step style. Their self-awareness made me wonder what people with severe mental disorders had to say about their own experiences. I did some research and discovered a world of experience and thought. I started wondering why we weren’t talking more about the issues they were raising. Stigma. Agency. Safety. I called David Oaks, a mental health rights leader and when I got off the phone, my hands were shaking. I met a guy, diagnosed bi polar who told me, “all I have to do to get committed is make 2 doctors nervous…do you know how easy that is?” And then he described how devastating it was to be told that you cannot trust yourself anymore. Your mind, your mission control will have to be run by someone else.

Who decides that? And how?

Then I met Eric and his dad and they were in the thick of that very battle. After 8 years in the mental health system, Eric decided he wanted to take control or at least have a say in his treatment. Because he was under a commitment order, that decision meant he was breaking the law. As a result he was being force treated. Was Eric really a threat to himself? How far was the mental health system going to go to protect Eric from himself? And was that going to help him? Or hurt him?

Once I committed to Eric’s story I was committed to following it through wherever it took me and to trying to understand the truth. Very grey business, truth. The result is our one-hour documentary, CRAZY.

Eric’s story asked me to look at issues like effectiveness vs harm of antipsychotic medications, the right of the individual vs the rights of the community, fear of violence, prejudice and stigma and a social and legal policy that really struggles to adapt to individual circumstance and need.

Some people didn’t want to talk to me. Some tried me to prevent me from talking to anyone. Others came forward anyway. Eric never wavered. He wanted his story to be told. And through luck and persistence, we were able to get 2 sides to the story. Like thousands of others, Eric’s journey, over 5 years had many ups and downs. Eric worked hard, really hard, to find the life he could live with which meant the life where he made the decisions that he felt worked best for him. And he succeeded. And that was the story that hooked me. The one about choice.