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Ken Paul Rosenthal img
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Ken Paul Rosenthal


Ken Paul Rosenthal is an independent filmmaker, photographer and educator. His current work explores the geography of madness through the regenerative power of nature, urban landscapes, home movies, and archival footage from social hygiene films. He is the recipient of a Kodak Cinematography Award, numerous festival awards, and is recognized for his media work in mental health advocacy. He holds an MA in Creative & Interdisciplinary Arts, an MFA in Cinema Production, and has taught film as a means of cultivating personal vision in workshops and universities in North America and abroad.

Ken’s poetic documentary project, Mad Dance: A Mental Health Film Trilogy, re-envisions the way we think, speak and feel about mental distress and wellness in today’s chaotic world. These transformative films offer new maps for navigating madness with insight, healing and hope. To date, these films have collectively won 18 awards, screened at 59 film festivals, and been presented in person at dozens of peer support networks, universities, mental health symposia and community events worldwide.

His new film, Whisper Rapture: A Bonfire Madigan Suite, is a music and mental health doc-opera featuring new compositions by cellist-vocalist, Madigan Shive.

Selected Awards

Director’s Choice - Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Haverhill, MA, 2014
First Place Int'l Documentary Short – FICSAM Mental Health Int'l Film Festival, Portugal, 2013
Silver Chris Award – Columbus International Film + Video Festival, 2012
First Prize – Art With Impact Mental Health Short Film Competition, 2012
Creativity & Madness Outstanding Presentation Award – American Institute of Medical Education, 2012
Golden Psi Award Nominee – American Psychological Association, 2012
Honorable Mention – Cinema Touching Disability Film Fest, 2012
Best Documentary for Environmental Protection – STEPS International Film Festival, 2012
Grand Prize, Best Documentary Short – US Film & Digital Video Festival, 2011
Voice Award – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011
Award of Merit – University Film & Video Association, 2011
Best of Fest – Human Dignity Film Festival, 2011
Best Documentary Short – Mendocino Film Festival, 2011
Best First Person Narrative – Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, 2011
Best Documentary Short – Picture This International Disability Film Festival, 2011
Second Prize Documentary Short – Athens International Film & Video Festival, 2011
Best of Fest and Audience Choice Award – Szeged Super 8 Film Festival, 2011
Award of Merit – Superfest International Disability Film Festival, 2011
Best Short, Spirit Award – Artivist Film Festival, 2011
Bay Area Documentary Fund Grant – The San Francisco Foundation, 2009
Director’s Citation – Black Maria Film Festival, 2007
John Gutmann Award for Experimental Film – SFSU, 2006
Leo Diner Award for Innovative Filmmaking – SFSU, 2005
Kodak Award Cinematography/Rosebud Award – CSU Media Arts Festival, 2004
Mission Arts Foundation Residency – Arts Explosion, San Francisco, 2004
Film Arts Foundation Award – Humboldt International Film Festival, 2002
Jury Award Experimental Process – Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1996
Sobel Memorial National Scholarship – San Francisco Art Institute, 1988