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Dreams do come true: Rogers team member premieres mental health documentary

09/17/19 04:33:pm

Rogers professional counselor Angela Kupper is debuting her documentary Finding your Fairytale at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 3, followed with a Milwaukee premiere later in the month.

Finding your Fairytale tells the stories of 13 survivors of adversity—including mental illness, chronic diseases, and trauma—to help reduce stigma and raise awareness. Angela, who started the project more than three years ago, says she is shocked and excited to see her indie film accepted into an established festival.

The subjects dress as a fairytale princess or prince for photoshoots to depict their struggles and successes over their personal hardships. Angela dresses as Sleeping Beauty as a way to represent her narcolepsy. In the fairytale, Cinderella is forced to clean by her stepmother. Finding Your Fairytale’s Cinderella, portrayed by Julie, spent years being forced to clean by her OCD.

After three years of hard work, Angela and her team have now finished their film.

“I cried tears of joy watching it the first time,” Angela says. “I was so proud of everyone involved for being brave enough to share their stories and so inspired by the resilience they showed in overcoming so many obstacles. I was also very proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone.”

For the Milwaukee premiere, Angela is collaborating with NAMI to help promote the event, which will be held at the Avalon Theater on October 17 from 6:30 to 9 pm. Tickets for the Milwaukee showing are on sale now and can be purchased at AvalonMKE.com.

Half of the proceeds from ticket sales will go back into the Finding your Fairytale non-profit. Angela says that she hopes audiences “feel a renewed sense of hope for their own happily ever after despite any challenges they may be facing.”

“I want them to leave feeling less ashamed of their own story and less alone in their struggles,” she adds. “I’d also hope that they would develop a better understanding of some of the struggles that others may be faced with and remember that you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Some of the motivation for the project came from Angela’s work with kids and teens at Rogers. Angela says that this age group often requires a more creative approach when making a connection. She decided on a film as a medium since not everyone has access to therapeutic services, and it can spread its message to a broader audience. The project had a successful Kickstarter campaign back in August 2016, earning more than $13,000, and has been reported on by CNN, CBS, Fox, and other major outlets.

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