Self Medicated

Self Medicated is a 2005 independent film based on real-life events from writer/director/lead actor Monty Lapica[2] 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.[3]

Self Medicated
Self-Medicated Final Poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed byMonty Lapica
Produced byThomas (Tommy) Bell
Monty Lapica
Written byMonty Lapica
StarringDiane Venora
Monty Lapica
Greg Germann
Michael Bowen
Music byAnthony Marinelli[1]
CinematographyDenis Maloney
Edited byTimothy Kendall
Distributed byTHINKFilm
Release date
  • June 2005 (2005-06) (CineVegas International Film Festival)
  • August 31, 2007 (2007-08-31) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States


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.



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.",[4] 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!"[5]

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."[1]


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.[6]

  • 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 FestivalSundance 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
  • Charlotte Film Festival – Audience Award — 2006

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b JEANNETTE CATSOULIS (30 August 2007). "Self-Medicated (2005) A Teenager in Search of a Soul". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  2. ^ Nathan Southern. "Monty Lapica: Full Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  3. ^ "The Making of Self-Medicated (Part 1 of 7)". SelfMed. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  4. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (15 July 2005). "Self-Medicated". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  5. ^ Chang, Justin (4 July 2005). "Review: 'Self-Medicated'". Variety. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Self Medicated". Retrieved 5 November 2015.

External linksEdit