Private Project


ORCHESTRATING CHANGE is the feature documentary film that tells the inspiring story of Me2/Orchestra, the only orchestra in the
world created by and for people living with mental illness and
those who support them. Co-founded by Ronald Braunstein,
once a world-renowned conductor whose career was shattered
when his own diagnosis of bipolar disorder was made public,
the mission of the orchestra is to erase stigma one exhilarating
concert at a time. As they rehearse, perform and then, prepare for a major concert, these extraordinary musicians have no idea
how much the orchestra will change their lives in poignant and
powerful ways. While they face struggles including hospitalizations, even incarceration, they always return to the orchestra.

  • Margie Friedman
    Margie Friedman is an Emmy-winning producer, director and writer who began her career in news and has gone on to produce numerous primetime television and cable series and specials. Her documentary film, Conducting Hope that tells the inspiring story of the only men’s prison choir in the United States to perform outside prison walls aired on PBS stations across the country. Margie has also served as VP of Development for a television production company where she developed shows for the National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, WE, Travel Channel, TLC and E! Margie is familiar with the impact of music as the Co-Producer of the Mickey Mouse Club (Disney Channel), Supervising Producer of Popstars (WB) and Senior Talent Producer for Star Search (CBS). She won an Emmy for her work on the television series, Your Turn To Care, also the winner of a 2013 Gracie Award. A graduate of UCLA Department of Film and Television, she received the Jim Morrison Film Award.
  • Barbara Multer-Wellin
    Barbara Multer-Wellin’s work has been seen on HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, TLC, KCET, The Discovery Channel, UPN, Lifetime, Fit-TV, TBS and HGTV. She won an Emmy for her work on the television series, Your Turn To Care, also the winner of a 2013 Gracie Award. Barbara has produced and written two films for the acclaimed PBS documentary series, Independent Lens. Take the Heat: The First Women Firefighters of New York City, a documentary narrated by Susan Sarandon, is about the 20-year struggle to bring women into the New York Fire Department, an institution traditionally hostile to change rocked by the overwhelming trauma and loss of September 11th. The second film, Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire narrated by Tom Brokaw, tracks the career of the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist in the context of pop history of the eleven presidents Conrad has lampooned. Ms. Multer-Wellin is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and is a former Chair of the Documentary/Reality Committee of the Producer’s Guild of America.
  • Margie Friedman
  • Barbara Multer-Wellin
  • Ronald Braunstein
    Key Cast
    Ronald Braunstein received his early musical training at The Juilliard School, where he studied composition with Elliott Carter. He then entered the conducting program, graduating with a Bachelor's of Music in orchestral conducting. He studied during the summers at the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Fontainebleau School, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center where he conducted in the master classes of Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. In 1979, he won the First Prize Gold Medal in the Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition in Berlin, becoming the first American to win this most prestigious award. Mr. Braunstein conducted orchestras, most notably the San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony, Osaka Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and the Oslo Philharmonic. In 1981 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His once meteoric career plummeted. After negotiating the ups and downs of this condition for three decades, he decided to create an orchestra for people living with mental illness, as himself, and those who support them.
  • Caroline Whiddon
    Key Cast
    Caroline Whiddon, the Executive Director of Me2/Orchestras, has more than two decades of experience in orchestra leadership. Since co-founding Me2/ ("me, too") in 2011, Caroline has positioned this unique organization as a new model for fighting mental health stigma. Under her leadership Me2/ has received media coverage from Al Jazeera America, the BBC, and the Associated Press, while growing a donor base of more than 100 individual donors and foundations. The organization has grown from one initial orchestra in Burlington, VT to also include a new orchestra in Boston, MA. New affiliate ensembles are on the horizon in other states and Me2/ is poised to launch a nationwide network of musical mental health warriors in the years to come. Caroline received her Bachelor’s degree in French horn performance from the Eastman School of Music.
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 35 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    230,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • American Public Television
    Country: United States
    Rights: Free TV
  • Bullfrog Films
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Margie Friedman, Barbara Multer-Wellin

Orchestrating Change, Executive Producer/Directors
Margie and Barbara are both EMMY award winning producer/directors with years of non-fiction television experience. They have produced shows for CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, HGTV, Disney Channel and others. Their previous films have aired on PBS including, the prestigious series, “Independent Lens.”

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