Ira Wohl

Ira Wohl is an Oscar-winner for BEST BOY (1979), a feature documentary about his then 50-year old mentally retarded cousin Philly’s journey toward greater independence; the maker of the sequel, Best Man (1997), in which we see how Philly has survived and thrived; and the three-quel, Best Sister (2006), which features Philly’s sister Frances at age eighty, living in a time when almost all the people, values and traditions that once gave her life meaning, have now ceased to exist.

In 2004 Wohl produced People Say I’m Crazy (2003), the first-ever documentary photographed and directed by someone with schizophrenia.  John Cadigan, a visual artist who had a psychotic break at age twenty-one, invites audiences to tour the world inside his “beautiful mind” – a chaotic, paranoid and imaginative universe, where he struggles to know what is real, yet still manages to live a creative and fulfilling life.

Wohl holds a master’s degree in Social Work from University of Southern California and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice, as well as a part-time one at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital and Institute, where he sees the students for psychotherapy. He has just returned from Chicago, where he filmed a series of fourteen in-depth interviews covering the entire spectrum of mental disorders, for a new set of DVDs on the process, utility and philosophy of diagnosis.

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