Research into the Science of Spirituality

Filmmaker Statement:

While a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, I heard about a study using psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) to ease existential distress among people who were diagnosed with cancer and struggling with the end of life. As a self-taught student of the 1960s, reader of Timothy Leary, and fan of the Grateful Dead I was both mystified and intrigued by the news.

From there I embarked on a journey to make a film and learn more about these mysterious compounds. The film for me was a journey not only into the history and potential of psychedelics, but also of the filmmaking process itself. A lot has been happening in the field of psychedelic research and as a culture we are reshaping our attitudes towards the potential of these very powerful substances.

I’m very excited at the prospect of finally releasing this film into the world. Please peruse the website for more information and learn how we can partner in telling this important story. For more information on me and my other work, please visit hardrainfilms.com.

Synopsis:

PSYCHEDELIA​ is an hour-long documentary film about psychedelic drugs and their ability to induce mystical, or religious experiences. The film explores this relationship by chronicling their use in controlled research studies prior to the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, at a time when LSD was regarded as one of the most promising discoveries in the field of psychiatry.

Featuring leading experts in the field of psychedelic research, the film tells the story of a small group of individuals who have re-introduced these compounds into a legal and ever-growing field of study. First-person accounts from a study on end-of-life anxiety show the profound, life-altering insights psychedelics can facilitate in the individual and what implications these insights might have on society at large.

Experts Featured in the Film:

The film features some of the leading experts in the field of psychedelic research, as well as historians and authors to provide historical context.

Dr. Stephen Ross

NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey Guss

NYU School of Medicine

Anthony Bossis, PhD

NYU School of Medicine

Matthew Johnson, PhD

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Charles S. Grob

Professor of Psychology, UCLA

Dr. Herbert Kleber

New York State Psychiatric Institute

Robert Cohen

New York University

Ingmar Gorman

Psychologist

Study Participants:

The following participants of the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study were generous enough to share their powerful stories in the film.

Dinah Bazer

Gale Cowan

Rob Sweeney

Nick Fernandez

Estalyn Walcoff

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