[a close-up of Miss Peepers, one of the non-human characters in the film.]
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine what a difference a year makes. At just about this time last year, we were in beginning stages of what would end up being a 6-month editing marathon, trying to figure out what ideas Maximum Tolerated Dose would bring forward, and what it would look like. I personally love editing and so it was an exciting time, if not a bit daunting. At this time last year the film still did not have a set pace, narrative, or structure… It was just a pile of disparate but promising footage, with still more coming in. Needless to say, at that point, it still felt like a pretty steep incline towards getting the film out and available to audiences.
If you’ve been following the project, of course you know that since then, a lot has happened. Since finishing the film in mid-2012 and embarking out on the first Open The Cages Tour, the film has screened at dozens of theatres and community spaces, with thousands having seen the film so far. The film has won awards for it’s contribution to the discussion around animal experimentation, and Universities from around the world have hosted screenings in their medical science buildings and in classes on animal ethics. All of the developments have been heartening and always inspire us to push further.
In the past couple of months, we held our first screenings of MTD across Australia in collaboration with Humane Research Australia. These screenings were some of the best events that we’ve held so far, and the team at HRA did an amazing job of bringing out audiences that were interested in having a constructive dialogue around the issues. Just before heading off to Australia, I was fortunate enough to sit down for an interview with Dr. Lauren Corman on the Animal Voices radio program, and it was a huge honour to be featured on a show that (and with a person who) was so formative to the way I’ve approached animal issues. The interview was one of the most in-depth and definitive that I’ve done on the film, and I strongly encourage people check it out, as it touches on so many things that I learned from Lauren and the AV show, and brings light to some of the key themes in the film. Just after returning from Australia, I was honoured to present the film in one of Lauren’s Critical Animal Studies classes as well, with an excellent discussion that followed with the students. Since then, MTD has screened in more than half a dozen cities across North America, including a special screening at Emory University (home of Yerkes National Primate Research Center, which is discussed prominently in the film in the stories of Rachel and Jerom), with Dr. Lori Marino and Christina Colvin participating in a panel discussion afterwards. A full report-back from that screening will come soon.
Looking forward, the MTD camp will be very busy over the next few months. We’re in the process of putting together the best DVD package we possibly can while keeping it at the most affordable price possible, and will have details of that soon, as well as details of the digital download package that we will offer with the film. We hope to have it ready and shipping in time for the 2nd Open the Cages Tour, which will be even bigger than last year. We have an exciting tour of screenings coming up across Poland (and the movie will feature Polish subtitles!) and we’ll have further dates on where to see the film across Europe soon enough. As always, stay tuned to the screenings page for the latest info.
Take good care, and we will too.
Karol and the MTD team.