"Jenny, and" is a film that bravely explores a complex journey of acceptance, identity and trauma. Jenny's world is turned on its head when she learns she's living with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder). We follow her quest of self discovery as inner worlds are navigated, Alters negotiated with and amnesia barriers released.
We are developing a beautiful feature-length film which follows a young woman's journey with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and hope you will join us in bringing it to life. The purpose of this campaign is to raise funds for my team of advisors and me, to cover the remainder of the Research & Development and Writing of the script. Many films have been successfully financed through crowdfunding websites like Greenlit, and now it is our turn to ask the community as well as all film lovers for a huge favor.
A year or so from now, when the film is in production and, following this, when it is released on the big screen, you will know that you were part of it from the very start. There are different ways you can donate to make this project a reality.
What is the film about?
We meet Jenny just as she is first learning about her diagnosis. We follow Jenny and the rest of the Alters/Parts (alternate identities) of her System (collection of Alters/Parts within one body) through the denial & acceptance of their DID. We go on an abstract & vivid exploration of the System’s inner world and experience the internal politics & dynamics of the System - (mis)communication, (mis)trust, negotiations & understandings. It's a complex journey of self discovery & identity - navigating a route from amnesia to co-consciousness and beginning a life-changing journey toward System integration as functional multiplicity. Ultimately, this is a complex ‘hero’s journey’ about acceptance, strength, healing and connection. When people watch the film, they’ll see DID is actually a powerful expression of the brain protecting a child who could not protect themselves.
And rather than rely on assumption, I will receive experienced & nuanced feedback through every step of the process from multiple diagnosed DID Systems living with the disorder, a DID Specialist and a Trauma Therapist. They have all agreed to oversee & contribute to the development of the characters in the story as well as offer insights for the story as a whole. Their observation and counsel will challenge, clarify & deepen the story and my ideas. They offer me the ability to be an 'honorary fly on the wall' so I may see behind the scenes of a world with understandably closed doors.
As my advisor Rémy said in our most recent Zoom session:
"It's called a 'disorder'... 'Dissociative Identity Disorder.' But actually it's a very sane way to react to what was an incredibly disordered world around them."
DID is caused by ‘overwhelming experiences, traumatic events, and/or abuse occurring in childhood,’ particularly (though not exclusively) when traumas begin before age 5. The child's repeated, overwhelming experiences usually occur alongside disturbed or disrupted attachment between the parent/caregiver & themselves.
This early childhood trauma causes DID to develop by preventing the child from forming a cohesive or unified sense of self (known as a ‘core personality’) during their earliest years. Instead, this prolonged trauma causes the different ‘behavioral states’ present from birth to become increasingly dissociated (disconnected) from each other; over time these develop into alternate identities. Developing multiple identities protects the child by keeping trauma memories & emotions contained within specific identities, rather than overwhelming the child completely.
Read more at TraumaDissociation.com.
Why make this film?
One of the most important elements of healing is validation, from others and towards yourself. We believe this story will not only be validation for all those living with DID, but will also open the door of awareness for others and allow people across the globe to engage in more meaningful conversations around the subject of DID. And, in seeing the un-ignorable parallels between the organization of a DID System & that of a non-dissociative individual, we will inevitably all look at ourselves in a new, nuanced way. Oh and - because it's a good story. "Jenny, and" is a heartwarming, profound and inspiring growth drama that will undoubtedly move audiences in many special ways.
My goal is to raise £8,000 so I can continue with an in depth Research & Development alongside my incredible team of specialist advisors and ultimately produce a finely curated feature-length screenplay and ‘pitch bible’ which my producer and I can then take to the production stage. The money which we raise through this campaign will carry the film through its first phase: pre-production.
- Why a screenplay? Because films provide a unique opportunity to explore a story not only visually but holistically, like our own minds, bringing many conflicting considerations to bear on the issue. And, unlike our own minds, films give us the opportunity to experience multiple perspectives all at once and provide possible answers to unanswerable questions.
- Why crowdfund it? Because successful campaigns prove significant commercial interest from people out there. For us, this is particularly important, as the industry tends to avoid authentic depictions of characters with DID in favor of more ‘fantastical’ iterations.
Meet Our Team!
Rémy Aquarone, M.Sc.; Director of Pottergate Centre for Dissociation & Trauma
Past President ESTD; Past International Director ISSTD
In the video below, Rémy explains his background & involvement in the project.
Rémy is an Analytical & Consultant Psychotherapist to a number of Psychiatric Services across the United Kingdom, offering assessments & treatment protocols for outpatient work. He is also member of the BPC, Director of the Pottergate Centre for Dissociation and Trauma (based in Norwich, UK), past President of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD) & past International Director of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). He has specialized in the area of Dissociation for the past 35 years, including offering assessments & consultancy assistance nationally.
A 2020 blog post written by Rémy for PESI UK titled Dissociative Identity Disorder: Using the Countertransference.
Kya & System, Founder & Director of DissociaDID
Diagnosed DID System & Prominent Content Creator: Youtube (1.18M subscribers), TikTok (7.4M likes), Instagram (227K followers)
In the video below, Kya explains their background & involvement in the project.
DissociaDID is a project dedicated to challenging the stigma surrounding DID & trauma-based mental illness. Together, Kya & their System (Alters) debunk the negative connotations surrounding DID, promote understanding & awareness and explain their experience of this greatly misunderstood disorder. They create content primarily about their personal experience & advice on PTSD, C-PTSD, Trauma, Abuse, Dissociative Disorders and general mental health, as well as running charity fundraisers. They explore the scientific & psychological nature of dissociation, trauma and DID, exposing inaccurate stigmas, tropes & myths that surround it.
To find out more about their project, check out their LinkTree.
Any clips lifted from their YouTube videos & used in this Kickstarter can be found on their channel, DissociaDID.
Dannie Rosenhammer, Integrative Counselor, Trauma Therapist & Supervisor
MA Counseling, MBACP, Accredited EMDR Practitioner, PG Cert in Clinical Supervision
In the video below, learn more about Dannie's involvement in the project.
Dannie has been practicing as a Counselor & Psychotherapist in England since 2010. To date she has provided around 4000 therapy sessions for different charities, the NHS and in her private practice. In 2016 she trained in Eye Movement Desentitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a highly effective way of treating the long-term effects of trauma, which has informed her work ever since. Dannie currently divides her time between supporting young people at 42nd Street, a well-respected Greater Manchester charity, and private work She also offers clinical supervision for anyone working in the field of mental health.
Hand Written System
'Ex-Performer, Ex-Teacher, New-Hopeful'
We are a newly diagnosed System (within 3 months) who, with our partner and radical acceptance, are currently going through all the struggles and rewards of DID: PTSD triggers, without understanding of origin; Needing to leave the first stable career we've had in years; Existential horror and denial, discovery of existence; a newborn baby, and the guilt and shame when it's too much of a struggle to help.
When we were first told about the project and asked if it would be ok for Rachel to observe our assessment, we jumped at the opportunity. It was very special to enter this new era by reconnecting to a world we thought we had left behind; the film industry.
Since then, it has been an integral part of our discovery and acceptance. Projects, especially those of an independent nature, are often an intimate reflection of their creator. Rachel has shown compassion, validation, a willingness and desire to learn, a means for us to hear how our experiences are both unique and familiar, an open and nonjudgmental attitude, questions about our experiences that help our reflection and understanding of them, and an obvious wish to be inclusive of as much of the DID community's experience as possible.
We don't just hope the project will help children in the outer-world grow up in an environment open to conversation and acceptance of DID... we know that Rachel has already helped Littles of our own inner-world feel accepted.
Host: What do you think of Rachel? Little: She's lovely. Host: Why do you think she's lovely? Little: Because she makes us feel real. We are real. That's why this is important. Some people don't think we're real.
Why name ourselves 'Hand Written System'? Because we have over 20 years of poetry, prose, and preparation cataloging our history. Mid-journal, we've witnessed a Part reveal themselves to us after decades without their handwriting meeting the page (the last time crystallized halfway through a poem in a schoolbook), our hand facilitating the writing of a previously suppressed thought process: "How does it feel to see me after 22 years?". Through these catalogues, we've met new friends and family within our System, discovering through multiplicity who we are as individuals. Finding that each of us have strengths, which alone is a trick, but together are a gift.
"I know this sounds dumb, but us... we... I don't know, think about it, we... we work. We know it, because we lived it. Who gets that kind of proof of concept?" - Quentin, from "Magicians"
You can reach out to Hand Written System at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creator & Screenwriter
Rachel De Fontes, BFA, MA
NYU Tisch School of the Arts (BFA); Drama Centre London (MA); Founder/Director, Murmuration Studios Ltd.
I currently live & work between the US, UK & EU on the UK Global Talent Visa. As Director of Murmuration Studios, a London & Dublin-based theatre & film production company, I produced Mike Bartlett's two-hander play 'An Intervention' in London (Riverside Studios) this May. Also this year: as a writer, I co-wrote a short film which is set for production in 2023 & aired one of my theatrical pieces in London during Velvet Smoke’s Festival of New Writing.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve written 2 feature length screenplays, 3 short films, a poetry book, a trio of 1-act plays & “Secrets” which was performed onstage in NYC. I’ve trained/worked with various companies & professionals across the US, UK, Ireland, Russia, Portugal & Australia. With an expansive understanding of theatre, film & storytelling, I aim to engage meaningfully with my work.
There are additional Systems acting as ongoing advisors for the project who have preferred to remain anonymous, as they prefer to stay out of the public eye.
Each of these advisors have varying experience, which is really positive in terms of representation for the film. It has been very interesting to discover ways in which the advisors align and other ways in which there is almost a complete dissonance of experiences.
It is my hope that every System who watches the film will feel seen in some way.
Well - there are many reasons, but the simplest & most fundamental is: each advisor brings a perspective to the table that I simply do not and cannot have.
Rather than assume, guestimate or suppose - I can ask them to clarify for me the reality of, for instance:
- what it's like to be pushed against your will 'to the front' & likewise pushed back in
- negotiating romantic relationships - dealing with polyamory vs monogomy, consent, etc
- System hierachies & internal conflicts between Alters
- experiencing amnesia walls/barriers & what it's like when they dismantle
Kya and the other Systems acting as advisors have already let me know that quite a lot of the content in the outline for the script is not only realistic but has actually happened to their Systems. Being able to discuss my ideas more specifically & share actual written materials with them for closer inspection will mean that I can really make sure it's as authentic as can be.
Similarly, Dannie and Rémy can both help me understand what actual discussions might be had within Jenny's therapy sessions with their therapist Nora as well as what could be happening behind the scenes for Nora. For instance:
- mentorship/support/disagreements among colleagues
- being confronted by a situation in a session you haven't trained for or previously experienced
- setting boundaries with patients
- finding new ways to work with parts of a System which are resistant
Especially regarding the depiction of Jenny & the other Alters in the System, Rémy, Kya & the other Systems I am working with can let me know if and when I start going 'off piste' in a direction I oughtn't go. I need that outsight from them to make sure I am honoring my intention to de-stigmatize & de-sensationalize the disorder.
More on the story
Don’t be fooled by the title… it’s not just Jenny’s story. Because, guess what - she’s an Alter too.
Each Alter has to learn to accept and respect that every Part of the System is there for a reason. They have to deal with backlash from those who deny the validity of their disorder, protect their System from people who are trying to take advantage of them, learn to trust each other and ultimately find the strength to stand up together against their abuser. It is a story with huge heart in it, humor, joy & depth (with a nice dose of edge).
I really hope you like my project.
If you choose to contribute, please remember that your involvement is not only monetary. When you donate, you are also raising your hand, and signaling to our industry that you wish to see this film on the big screen and that you care about destigmatizing the DID community.
Join us in making "Jenny, and" a reality!
If you would like to watch further videos or read further materials about DID, please feel free to navigate through this list of additional resources.
Some videos from the DissociaDID Youtube Channel:
DissociaDID video Inner Worlds | Debunking DID Ep 8 | Dissociative Identity Disorder
Seven News Spotlight video All Of Me | Living with multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder) | 7NEWS Spotlight
thePizzaSystem video Switching VS Drawing; Future | Dissociative Identity Disorder (Rapid Switching/Rapid Cycling)
60 Minutes Australia video Woman with 2,500 personalities says they saved her from shocking child abuse | 60 Minutes Australia
MultiplicityAndMe video My Identities Impersonating Me: Why DID is a hidden disorder | Multiplicity&Me
Med Circle video What It's Like To Live With Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
MultiplicityAndMe video How Multiple Personalities Communicate | MultiplicityAndMe
MultiplicityAndMe video MYTHS vs FACTS | Dissociative Identity Disorder
DID Overview - TraumaDissociation.com
Dissociation debates: everything you know is wrong - Richard J. Loewenstein, MD
Therapeutic Alliance With Abuser Alters In DID: The Paradox of Attachment to the Abuser - Ruth A. Blizard, Ph.d
Persecutory alters and ego states: protectors, friends, and allies - L. A. Goodman, & J Peters