Darrin Klimek showcases 'Mandeep' at the Toronto film fest
'Mandeep' is a powerful profile of a man living with Tourette's syndrome, OCD and ADHD in Vancouver.
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:28AM EDT
TORONTO - Earning a spot at the Toronto International Film Festival is a big coup for a director. Still, with a gaggle of Hollywood A-listers in town, it can be tough to grab a slice of the spotlight.
Each day during the festival, The Canadian Press will take a look at a notable Canuck movie-maker.
Today, we profile Darrin Klimek, who is at the fest with the five-minute documentary "Mandeep," which is in the Short Cuts Canada program.
Hometown: Born in Vancouver, now lives in Toronto
In a nutshell: A powerful profile of a 21-year-old man (now 23) living with Tourette's syndrome, OCD and ADHD in Vancouver.
Backstory: An actor and photographer, Klimek makes his first foray into directing with "Mandeep," part of an awareness campaign for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. He felt compelled to contribute because his younger half-brother has autism and Klimek understands the stigma and judgment felt by those with conditions that cause them to act out in public. Klimek focused on Mandeep Sanghera, a charismatic photography enthusiast whose severe Tourette's causes him to swear, scream and harm himself and objects around him. Klimek hopes to one day make a full feature on him and others with Tourette's syndrome.
In the director's words: "The first time I talked to him on the phone in a conference call it was really shocking because when he gets nervous he really ticks and he swears a lot and I was really taken aback and I was wondering: 'How am I going to deal with this?' But then the first time that I met him, he came out of the house and he was smiling and he gave me this big hug and he was really excited to see me and I just knew inside he was just a great guy. ... He's very lonely. I went out for lunch with him a couple of times while we were filming and it was hard to be in the restaurant with him because he was swearing, there were racial slurs, he was banging things, he was trying to grab the server all the time, and everything has to be explained to people around you. You can see people looking at you and getting upset and people were actually leaving. I had to live with that for four days -- he lives with that every day."