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Hudson Valley News

Movie Premiering At The WFF Focuses On Mental Health And Addiction

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A movie premiering this weekend at the Woodstock Film Festival focuses on topics society grapples with daily: addiction and mental health.

The story of “Inez & Doug & Kira” is set in motion after Inez, a brilliant yet unstable recovering addict, commits suicide and leaves no note. Inez leaves her sister and fiancé with a mound of unanswered questions. It’s writer/director Julia Kots’ first feature-length film, and tackles mental health, addiction and love. 

Kots says she has been interested in exploring mental illness and suicide in film for many years, especially the ripple effects of these two issues on family, friends and the community at large.

Her background is in dark comedy.

And that tiny budget resulted in 13 of the 16 shoot days being filmed in investors’ houses in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. Actor Michael Chernus is perhaps best known, of late, for playing Piper's brother, Cal Chapman, on the Netflix breakout hit series "Orange Is The New Black.” His film credits are numerous. Chernus, a Hudson Valley resident, speaks about “Inez & Doug & Kira.”

He says the writing drew him to the role, and he came away from the film with a new understanding.

Meantime, Chernus says having a film in the 20th anniversary Woodstock Film Festival is meaningful.

That nonprofit in Brewster is SPACE on Ryder Farm. It’s an artist residency program and one of the oldest family organic farms on the East Coast.

The 20th Woodstock Film Festival runs from October 2-6.

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