Frank Flynn's Surfacing At ReFrame Film Festival Looks At Impact Of His Wife's Suicide On His Family

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R.) is once again a sponsor of the ReFrame Film Festival, and this year one of the films of note they're sponsoring is a local one called Surfacing.

Written by well known local director/playwright Frank Flynn—and produced by Blake Richardson and choreographed by Rachelle Bemrose—it tells the story of Flynn’s wife’s journey through mental illness, her subsequent suicide in August 2014 and its impact on the family and their eventual journey to healing. 


Flynn was rendered speechless and heartbroken when his wife took her own life, and didn't know how to put it to words. “When my wife died, I struggled to give sorrow to words," he says. "As a playwright, to be without words was a unique kind of torment. I felt a constant physical ache in my chest and pressure building in every cell of my body."

Months later, after seeing a dance piece by Richardson and Bemrose, it occurred to Flynn that his was a story best told with bodies in motion. Collaborative work on Surfacing followed soon after with the two.

Surfacing, a dance/soundscape/poem, was made for Frank’s children as a living memorial to their mother and also as an invitation into the discussion of mental health, stigma, and healing.

Surfacing plays at Showplace Performance Centre on Friday, January 27th at 11:30 a.m. For more info on Reframe Film Festival, visit their website.

Engage with us on social media on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Snapchat (ptbo_canada). Write to us at Sign up for PTBOBuzz newsletter here. Watch our PTBOCanada Love video here.