Obsessions, Compulsions and Fear: Buzzed-about Short Film, Contamination, Gives a Face to OCD

Buzzed-about short film gives a face to OCD. (Source: Oglesby Communications Consulting)

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

Actress Cherise Boothe as Jade, A 30-year-old African American who suffers from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a short film written and directed by R. Shanea Williams.

New York, NY (PRWEB) December 19, 2013

If OCD was an American city, it would be the second most populated city in the country. Health officials believe there are 4 million adults and children in the U.S. living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Now a new short film, Contamination, is putting a face on the often-misunderstood anxiety disorder, and it's beginning to get some attention from industry publications.

"I had an idea about this character for a long time, a woman who was struggling with severe germaphobia which resulted in her having OCD," said the film's director, R. Shanea Williams. "Soon the voice for this character became louder and louder and I created a story around her. I felt it'd work as a short film due to it being a contained environment."

Williams said she wanted to give a voice to people we do not often see struggling with OCD.

Actress Cherise Boothe plays the lead actress, Jade. The Obie Award winner, who was featured in the film 42 and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined. Here's what she had to say about Contamination.

What was your perspective about OCD before the film and did the film change your outlook?

Boothe: I didn't know much about OCD before the film. One of the things that made a huge impression on me during my research was learning how overwhelming and compelling obsessions can be. And the more intense the obsession the greater the need to engage in compulsive behavior. I didn't realize the deep level of suffering and entrapment that can be experienced by people with severe OCD.

What do you want people to take away from the film?

Boothe: Hmmmm...maybe some are like me and don't know much about OCD. Having been exposed to the condition through the film, hopefully some may be encouraged to find out more about it. Also, that this condition can affect anyone, regardless of race, socio-economic status or class.

Are there differences in how you approached this material versus other material you’ve worked with?

Boothe: I was very fortunate to work with Robin on this project. As a writer/director she was extremely open to any questions and thoughts I had leading up to the shoot. We had weekly meetings to discuss story, character, any new insights, changes to script, etc. There was only one day of rehearsal before we shot the film and I'm used to weeks of rehearsal when I perform in plays. But because of the intimate work Robin and I did in the weeks leading up to the shoot, I felt secure that Robin and I were on the same page and ready for the next step in the process. When it was time to start shooting, I was free to put my attention on being in the moment as Jade on set.

Contamination is the first film from Vision 75/80 Productions. It will make the rounds at several film festivals next year.

About the director:
R. Shanea Williams is a native of Richmond, Virginia and currently lives in Queens, New York. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a BA in English and received her MFA in dramatic writing (with a concentration in screenwriting) from New York University in 2008, the same year she and producer Anthony J. Davis founded Vision 75/80 Productions. Williams was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition, and in 2011, she was a top 5 screenplay finalist in the Urbanworld Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Contamination is her second short film.

About the producer:
Anthony J. Davis is a veteran in the film industry. The New York native has worked on several film productions, including the Academy Award nominated film Lincoln, Prisoners and Identity Thief. He co-founded Vision 75/80 in 2008 with director R. Shanea Williams. Contamination is the production company's first film.