M2G Ventures – owned by twin sisters Jessica Miller and Susan Miller Gruppi – is launching an ambitious three-year project to raise $500,000 for awareness and research on bipolar disorder and other mental illness issues.
Phase I is development and release of an artistic short film in partnership with Fort Worth director Rambo and Fort Worth production company Red Productions that will act as the launch platform for the three-year effort fundraising effort.
Founded in 2014, M2G Ventures has acquired $60 million of property primarily in the city center of Fort Worth.
The company led initial development in the Foundry District and has repurposed other properties across Fort Worth including along South Main Street and Magnolia Avenue.
The sisters have raised $27,000 from friends and family members and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise an additional $15,000 to begin production on the film. Filming was to begin once the Kickstarter campaign reaches its goal.
Gruppi and Miller said that their family recently lost a close relative after a three-year battle with bipolar disorder.
“It is gut wrenching watching someone be tortured by their own brain, which in turn tortures the people closest to them,” they said in a message to family and friends.
The film will be the vehicle for the rest of the campaign.
“We believe by showing a piece of this reality we will not only create awareness for one of the most silent killers but will also use this film to kick off M2G’s initiative to raise $500,000 over the next three years to fund mental health research for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses, systems and services change and desperately needed awareness projects,” they said.
The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in Dallas will be the beneficiary of our first round of funding.
“The powerful and personal short film will also aim to change the language surrounding mental illness while creating courageous conversations around one of the most complex illnesses faced today,” Miller and Gruppi said.
Leading Phase 1 is Fort Worth photographer and artist Rambo who will serve as the project’s director, as well as the film’s writer. Supporting Rambo’s vision and creation is Executive Producer Red Sanders of Red Productions.
Sanders will oversee the production and distribution of the film. The artistic short follows the journey of a person living with a mental disease, sharing the personal and familial experiences with the world. The filmmakers hope to encourage audiences to reach a level of understanding and learn how they can help those who are internally suffering, M2G said in a news release.
“The heart of the film that I wrote for mental awareness is understanding,” Rambo said in the news release.
“A lot of people who struggle with mental illness have trouble translating their inner world into their outer world; this often prevents them from getting the help they need or from being taken seriously. This film is my attempt to show the outside world how daunting and frustrating getting out of your own mind can be,” Rambo said.
“Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks,” according National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) information cited on the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website.
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans – about 2.6 percent – of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year, and affects an equal number of men and women, all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes.
NIMH reports that bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide.
The World Health Organization said bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.