NWU Alum's Film Selected for 2011 Local Filmmakers Showcase

A Nebraska Wesleyan University alum's film about mental illness has been selected for the 2011 Local Filmmakers Showcase.

Megan Plouzek, a 2009 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, produced the film "My Dad's Illness." She earned her bachelor's degree in health and fitness studies.

“My Dad’s Illness” is one of seven short films that will be presented within a single, 100-minute program compilation showing daily August 19-25, at Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, located at 1340 Mike Fahey (formerly Webster) Street, within the Saddle Creek Records complex in Omaha.

Plouzek began her work on the film while attending Nebraska Wesleyan and taking video production classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Plouzek has always wanted to tell inspiring stories.

“I tell this story in hopes it will spark a conversation about mental illness. It is sad to see so many families struggling and remaining silent,” she said.

Plouzek’s father struggles with depression, and “My Dad’s Illness” explores how mental illness affects not only the family member with the disorder, but also the entire family. The film features interviews with Plouzek’s father and mother, as well as her two brothers and paternal grandparents. It is narrated by Megan Plouzek. “My Dad’s Illness” will be paired with a discussion program that focuses on mental illness and features a panel of experts who will provide viewers with current information. It is hosted by NET’s Mike Tobias. The two programs will air back-to-back on NET Television in September. (Check the NET Television website, netNebraska.org/television for airdates.)

In addition to Plouzek’s film, viewers will see a diverse selection of films in the Local Filmmakers Showcase, including: an intimate portrait of the former world champion of women’s professional wrestling; a music video for Omaha band Thunder Power; an experimental short film challenging assumptions about language and the meaning of words; a photographic stop-motion short chronicling a massive rattlesnake roundup in rural Oklahoma; a whimsical look at thirty-something relationships; and a stirring drama about love and sacrifice. The films were selected by an independent jury of area artists and arts supporters.

The 2011 Local Filmmakers Showcase opens with a special opening night engagement on Friday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Film Streams will premiere the film showcase and host a post screening party with the filmmakers. The ticketed event is open to the public. Tickets to all screenings of the Local Filmmakers Showcase are $9 general, $7 for seniors, students, teachers and military, and $4.50 for Film Streams Members. A percentage of the box office for the week-long run will go to each of the directors whose films are featured in the showcase.

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NWU alum Megan Plouzek produced the film "My Dad's Illness." The film has been selected for the 2011 Local Filmmakers Showcase.