Local Real Estate Company Ventures Into Filmmaking With Focus on Mental Health

Mental illness hit home last year for M2G Ventures co-president Jessica Miller, when her family lost a loved one who battled with a mental disease.

by Jenelle Langford

Mental illness hit home last year for M2G Ventures co-president Jessica Miller, when her family lost a loved one who battled with a mental disease.

The experience prompted her and twin sister Susan Gruppi, also co-president of M2G Ventures, to team up with photographer Rambo Elliott and filmmaker Red Sanders of Red Productions to create a short film that will highlight the reality of living with mental illness.

The film will kick off phase one of a three-year fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $500,000 for scientific studies on finding cures, providing helpful resources for those affected by mental illness and bringing an increased awareness to the topic.

“We wanted the first thing that would go out into the marketplace to be really impactful in a way that made people truly think about what it means to have a mental illness,” Miller said.

The film will premiere at the beginning of 2019 at The Modern Art Museum and The Grand Berry Theater in The Foundry District, with a film festival run to follow. Earnings from the film will go toward the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in Dallas.

M2G Ventures raised about $34,000 for the film — more than $15,000 via Kickstarter and the rest through family and friends. A portion of the film is available to watch on the project’s Kickstarter page — and stars Rambo herself.

“The film is pretty much someone digging their way out of their own mind,” Rambo said. “There’s all these different chapters, but that also meant that I had to be in all those chapters to think about how to write them. The thing I am excited about is to show it from a woman's perspective.”

Miller and Rambo hope the films will not just spark conversation — but encourage others to help.

“What do those people go through? What do their families go through? [Mental illness] is something that’s not going to go away unless everyone takes a stand to try and improve the situation,” Miller said.