Today is World Mental Health Day, and also marks the release of a brand new short film/documentary detailing CHIMAIRA vocalist Mark Hunter‘s battle with bipolar disorder, entitled Down Again. The documentary is available to view for free now via https://downagainfilm.com/.
In conjunction with the documentary’s release and World Mental Health Day, Mark Hunter took part in a very personal, in-depth conversation with Psychology Today about growing up and living with bipolar disorder. Read the entire interview here.
Mark Hunter explains to Psychology Today that it’s helpful to focus away from his own issues and serve others, as he is with the release of Down Again and creating art through music and photography. “I enjoy serving humanity. Whether that’s writing music people relate to, taking photographs that mean something to the people I take them for, and sometimes being anonymous and just being nice… I’m amazed at how much better I feel doing meaningful things for people.”
Down Again was directed by Nick Cavalier – also recognized for directing Derek Hess’ award-winning Forced Perspective documentary. Mark Hunter and director Nick Cavalier met on a panel speaking about Mental Health and Creativity monitored by Dr. Patrick Runnels (featured in the documentary) during the Acting Out! festival in Cleveland – a festival put on in 2017 to raise mental health awareness. After hearing his story at the panel, Nick approached Mark to create a short film around his ability to cope with mental illness in the public spotlight through the art. Down Again juxtaposes CHIMAIRA‘s history with Mark’s life events and lyrics, presenting an intimate timeline through the rise and fall of the band and Mark’s ability to channel it into art. The film also explores the catharsis created by the act of making music and art (even touching upon Mark Hunter’s love for photography) and how the end result affects the fans.
In addition to interviews with Mark Hunter and those in his life about his mental health, upbringing, and the formation/rise of CHIMAIRA, the documentary also includes high-quality video footage of the band’s 15th Christmas show at the Agora in Cleveland (2017), featuring the band’s original line-up – marking their first performance together after nearly seven years of separation.
Down Again features direction of photography by Tyler Clark and a live audio mix on the performance scenes by CHIMAIRA guitarist Rob Arnold.
Down Again was made possible by a generous donation from The Centers for Family and Children, and marketing support via Hope For The Day.