Brain Stories: A Trailblazing Series

Brain Stories: A Trailblazing Series

From Frank Kosa

Brain Stories is a groundbreaking series telling the stories of people living with mental illness and those who support them. This campaign has ended, but give or find out more at https://brainstoriesproductions.com

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Update #2

3 months ago

The home stretch is now. We're in the last two weeks of our campaign. Please help us reach our goal.

Make a donation. Or ask one person you know to make a contribution today.

Thank you!

More Info

This fundraising campaign is over, but you can still give, or sign up for updates at https://brainstoriesproductions.com

Uncovering the Inner Universe and Outer World

Leave everything you thought you knew about mental illness at the door. This groundbreaking audio-documentary podcast delivers real, funny, gritty stories of those living with mental illness and the people who support them.  It uncovers an inner universe, and the outside world that responds in a way that so often is just plain, well...insane. 

Please support our mission with your contribution today.  All donations are tax deductible through our 501 (c) (3) partner, Independent Arts and Media. 

Why This Series?  Why Now?

   --- No one is doing this.  No series is telling the inside story of mental illness from those who know it best - people living with one and the individuals who support them.  Brain Stories delivers exactly this. 

   --- The most common response to mental illness is fear.  These narratives provide deep insight, inspiring understanding and empathy.

   -- Mental illness is an increasingly urgent issue.  We need to understand what it is, and how to respond effectively.  Now more than ever, we need the insight of true-life experience of mental illness from those who live with it.  

   --  These stories will change the narrative around mental illness, creating a foundation for effective care and successful policy.  Join us in this vital mission!

The Stories

The first season will be 10 episodes, each about 30 minutes in length.  In our first story features Adrian Meza - he's in the video above. He believed when he was 13, that he was going to develop schizophrenia like his dad.  That came to a head 20 years later and changed his life forever.  

Our second story is of a world class conductor with bipolar disorder who managed to to emerge from the despair of a ruined career by co-founding the world's first orchestra for those with mental illness.

A third story recounts the odyssey of a charismatic teen who had more friends in high school than time, only to have a psychotic episode in college destroy nearly every friendship.  This is how he reckoned with the devastating social loss, and what he built back in its stead. 

Told with the sensibility of This American Life, these are ultimately tales of universal need:  connection, purpose and hope.

The Story Behind Brain Stories

Shortly after Janet's son had a psychotic episode in college, she met Frank at a training to lead family education classes for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).   She and Frank taught the class and began hearing one spellbinding account after another from the frontlines of mental illness -- the mysteries and the thousand facets of living with it.  They immediately felt the power and poignance of the stories, but they found no one was telling them.  They decided to launch Brain Stories to help change the narrative around mental illness from fear to understanding. 

Where Your Contribution Will Go

We have our pilot episode complete, and work underway on five more.  On the tightest possible budget, we'll need $5,000 per episode to get those five done.   Your generosity will help pay for: 

  • Digital Storage
  • Mics, adapters, equipment rentals
  • Producing and Editing
  • Transcription
  • Music Composition
  • Travel Costs

For More Information and to Listen to our Trailer

Go to our website:  brainstoriesproductions.com

Projected Timeline

We are working to complete the first season of 10 episodes by the end of 2023, and launch the series in early 2024.   

Then, we start work on the second season right away. 

Other Ways to Help

Be an influencer on a scale works for you!  

  • Share this Fundly link with your friends and family and ask them to consider supporting.   
  • Post this campaign on your social media - light it up early and often.  

The Executive Producing Team

Janet Yang

An Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Hollywood producer, Janet Yang is currently the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  Her extensive film and television credits include The Joy Luck Club, People vs. Larry Flynt, Shanghai Calling, Zero Effect and the Academic Award-nominated animated feature Over the Moon

Frank Kosa

Frank is an award-winning documentary writer-producer-director, and a journalist.  His credits include The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, The Revolutionary War, and Christianity: the Second Millennium.  His work has aired on National Geographic, The History Channel, Discovery, A&E and HGTV, among many others.  His print journalism has appeared in The LA Times, USA Today, The Sacramento Bee and the The Christian Science Monitor.

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Help Frank raise $25,000 by making a donation.

Frank Kosa posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #2

The home stretch is now. We're in the last two weeks of our campaign. Please help us reach our goal.

Make a donation. Or ask one person you know to make a contribution today.

Thank you!

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Frank Kosa posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #1

Thanks again to all who have generously given.

We are closing in our matching goal. Only $865 left to reach the full $4,000 matching challenge by a family foundation.

Help us cross the finish line with your donation today. Your contribution counts as double until we hit our goal.

Join our mission today while every dollar given counts twice.

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