M&J’s (Meeshelle Neal & Jax Smith) film MENTAL and William Minsky’s film RESONANCE, starring Briana Rayner, have both been chosen as Official Selections by the 2018 Philip K. Dick Film Festival. Both films will screen in New York City at the event later this month at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan. The Festival showcases “off-the-beaten-path independent visionary sci-fi that provokes and engages a sense of awe and curiosity.” Oat Studio’s Neill Blomkamp (Director of District 9, Elysium, Chappie) will be unveiling five new sci-fi shorts at the Festival. MENTAL has not only dramatically brought the subject of mental health to the screen, but has been a catalyst for candid discussion among audiences. The film is set to screen on February 23rd from 11:00pm-12:00am. RESONANCE is a dark story that lives in a fantastic alternate world while focusing on one person’s experience within it, and screens on February 24th from 11:00am-1:00pm. You can get your MENTAL here and RESONANCE tickets here.

MENTAL tells the story of Alicia, who sees reality through a dream­like lens of externalized psychotic episodes. Caught in a loop of depression and anxiety she uses prescription drugs to numb herself. Unable to discern what is real and what is imaginary, she finally gives into her inner voice’s advice and embraces her biggest fear. Sometimes the only way out is through.

RESONANCE follows Aleena Ambrose (played by actress Briana Rayner) as she discovers a darker motivation behind the world of “Luxury Artificial Sleep Centres” and becomes the focus of her own nightmare. The filmmakers’ cinematic artistry skillfully immerses the audience in the characters’ reality. Imagine a future society in which technology prevents everyone from sleeping. How would you know you were dreaming? No one sleeps. No one dreams. For the past 40 years, this has been the norm and no one has really questioned it.

MENTAL won the ‘Achievement in Filmmaking, Best Short Form’ when it premiered at the 2017 International Covellite Film Festival last September. The film was directed by Jax Smith, written and produced by Meeshelle Neal, who also stars in the film. The pair received a BravoFact Award for the film as well. Since its premiere, the film has gone on to earn industry accolades and multiple awards at the following Festivals:

Official Selection of the Danforth Short Film Festival 2017

*Winner of ‘Award of Excellence’ One-Reeler Short Film Competition 2017

Official Selection of the Vancouver Short Film Festival 2018

*Winner of Raindance Vancouver’s ‘Underdog Award’ 2018

Official Selection of the Philip K. Dick Film Festival 2018

Official Selection of the International Women in Film Festival 2018