Filmmaker Statement:

I’m a documentary filmmaker and professional film editor who’s always gravitated towards historical and biographical storytelling. My work as an editor has been featured on the national networks of PBS and Showtime, as well as major news brands like People magazine. As an independent producer, my films have been shown in museums, international film festivals, and in-studio on Channel 13 in New York City.

This project began several years ago while I was a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. At the time, I heard about a study using psilocybin to ease existential distress among people who were diagnosed with cancer and struggling with facing 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 this institutional use of psychedelics.

Today we are in the so-called “psychedelic renaissance,” much of which gained momentum while I was making this film. By getting in early, I was lucky enough to gain access to characters and stories that are now difficult to capture. It was a labor of love for many years, and I’m thrilled to finally share it with audiences around the world. Peruse the website to learn more and find out how we can partner in bringing this story to your community, members, or students.
– Pat Murphy (Creator of the Film)

Synopsis:

PSYCHEDELIA​ ​is an hour-long documentary film about psychedelic drugs and their ability to induce mystical and religious experiences. The film chronicles their use in controlled research studies prior to the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, when LSD was regarded as a promising medical breakthrough, as well as their recent re-emergence in psychiatry.

Featuring leading experts in the field of psychedelic research, the film tells the story of medical professionals who have re-introduced these compounds into a legal and growing field of study. First-person accounts from a study on end-of-life anxiety explore the profound, life-altering insights psychedelics induce in participants and what these insights might mean for 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.

Stephen Ross, MD

NYU School of Medicine

Jeffrey Guss, MD

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

Julie Holland, MD

Psychiatrist

Rick Doblin, PhD

Founder of MAPS

Katherine MacLean, PhD

Research Scientist

Herbert Kleber, MD

Psychiatrist

Robert Cohen

New York University

Ingmar Gorman, MD

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

Learn How You Can See the Film

PSYCHEDELIA: is an award-winning film that is now available as part of a grassroots virtual screening campaign.

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