Release dateJune 2005 (2005-06) (CineVegas International Film Festival)
August 31, 2007 (2007-08-31) (United States)
Self medicated theaterical trailer
Self Medicated is a 2005 independent film based on real-life events from writer/director/lead actor Monty Lapica about Andrew, a troubled teenager whose mother has him kidnapped at age 17 by a private company and forcibly committed to a locked-down psychiatric institute. Monty Lapica was not originally cast for acting in the film, according to the subsequent documentary, The Making of Self-Medicated (2007), the first-time writer and director was also slated to play the starring role in his own life story after casting-calls failed to produce a suitable candidate.
On the edges of Las Vegas, 17-year-old Andrew’s life is spiraling out of control. Unable to cope with the loss of his father, Andrew’s descent into drugs and violence is gaining momentum, and the once promising young man is now headed for self-destruction (in what Variety calls “an especially blistering performance by Monty Lapica”).
Andrew’s mother (Golden Globe nominee Diane Venora), helpless to control her son and fighting an addiction of her own, refuses to watch idly as her only child destroys himself. As a last resort, she hires a private company to forcibly kidnap and confine him in a locked-down and corrupt psychiatric hospital. As Andrew is subjected to the secret physical and emotional abuses of the program something inside him is re-awakened. He must somehow get free to save what’s left of his life, but to do that, he knows he must first face his own demons head-on.
Monty Lapica as Andrew Eriksen
Diane Venora as Louise Eriksen
Michael Bowen as Dan Jones
Greg Germann as Keith McCauley
Reviews have been generally favorable. The Hollywood Reporter said there was "a raw, unmannered intensity in Lapica's performance sets the requisite tone for the entire production. Self- Medicated is just what the doctor ordered.", and Variety magazine said the film was "a searing portrait of an out-of-control youth . . . strong acting from all quarters and an especially blistering performance from Lapica. Packs a startling punch!"
After complimenting the musical score by Anthony Marinelli and cinematography by Denis Maloney, Jeannette Catsoulis writes for The New York Times, "When the institutional 'abuses' promised in the press notes fail to materialize (unless you count enforced standing and essay writing), the story becomes a monotonous loop of escape and recapture."
The film was theatrically released on August 31, 2007 in 15 markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Boston, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Austin, and Las Vegas.
The film has toured the festival circuit extensively, collecting 39 awards.
Rome Independent Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize — 2006
Australian International Film Festival – Best Feature Film & Best Actress (Diane Venora)
Angel Award — Best Motion Picture — 2007
PRISM Award Winner — 2006
WorldFest International Film Festival – Gold Remi Award — 2006
Phoenix Film Festival – Sundance Channel Audience Award & Best Ensemble (Cast) — 2006
Berkeley Film Festival – Grand Festival Award — 2006
Memphis International Film Festival – Jury Award — 2006
Tahoe/Reno International Film Festival – Best Spotlight Feature (Festival Prize) — 2005
Newport Beach International Film Festival – Best First Feature (Breakthrough Award) — 2006
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – Best Feature — 2006
Zion International Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize
Santa Fe Film Festival – Best of the Southwest — 2005
Tiburon International Film Festival – Best Actor (Monty Lapica) — 2006
DIY Film Festival – Best Feature & Best Director — 2006
George Lindsey UNA Film Festival – Professional Feature (Monty Lapica and Tommy Bell) — 2006
Cosmos International Film Festival – Best Feature
Flint International Film Festival – Competition Jury Prize
Twin Rivers Film Festival – Feature Film Award
Zoie Film Festival – Best Feature Film — 2006
Big Island Film Festival – Best Feature & Up-And-Coming Filmmaker Award — 2006
Santa Clarita Film Festival – Best Feature & Fuji Best Feature Shot on Film — 2006
Lake Arrowhead Film Festival – Best Feature — 2006
Trenton International Film Festival – Best Screenplay — 2006
BridgeFest Film Festival Canada – Best Feature
Staten Island Film Festival – Best New Filmmaker
Estes Park Film Festival – Best Feature & Audience Award
Tony Bennett / Mike Agassi Foundation – Inspiration Award
New York VisionFest – Best Feature & Best Actor (Monty Lapica) & Best Editing — 2006