Imagine that you somehow gather the courage to pick up the phone and call a suicide hotline. But, just as you are staring down the barrel of your own gun, pleading for help, the person on the other end of the line decides that now would be the perfect moment to take a break and leave you on an indefinite hold – complete with tasteless hold music.

For most of us, being put on hold by a suicide hotline is a premise too horrible to imagine.

But, if that premise strikes you as darkly hilarious, then your sense of humor must be as twisted as that of Peter Regan and Benjamin Wilson, codirectors of “A Funny Man” – – and if, like most of us, that premise strikes you as appropriately tragic, then you’ll certainly appreciate the sincerity and sensitivity of this uncommon dramedy.

“I wanted to write a film filled with… moments where you are laughing but feel like you shouldn’t be,” said Wilson.

So, just what inspired this directing pair to tackle the subject of suicide?

“Movies are both a way for us to see through another person’s eyes, and a way to get an outside look at ourselves,” Regan reflected. “A Funny Man” will mark his Indie Oaks Film Festival debut.

“For me personally, one of the main reasons I wanted to speak to the subject of suicide was the death of a beloved funny man, Robin Williams. From my experiences of talking people away from that ledge, I know sometimes they just need someone to know how they’re feeling.”

In “A Funny Man”, stage actor Richard Cavallucci makes his noteworthy film debut.

Regan writes that “The trust and faith Richard put into our direction was humbling,” and co-directors Benjamin Wilson and Peter Regan both praised the joint professionalism, spirit, talent, and chemistry between their two lead actors (Richard Cavallucci and Jess Paul).

Under the direction of Regan and Wilson, Cavallucci and Paul explore the collision of humor and tragedy – the ways they intertwine and affect one another. “A Funny Man” leaves the audience with the impression of a candid, genuine, two-person moment in time that captures much more than its 13 minutes ought to allow.

For 2016 Audience Choice Award Winning Director, Benjamin Wilson, A Funny Man marks his proud return to Indie Oaks.

“Indie Oaks is where it all started for me in Pittsburgh,” writes co-director Benjamin Wilson, “I am simply looking forward to another great night of wonderful films with all the fantastic people I have met and worked with…there’s truly a special film scene here in Pittsburgh, and Indie Oaks Film Festival is at the heart of it.”

IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from suicidal ideation or untreated depressive symptoms, please seek help. You cannot be replaced! www.pleaselive.org/hotlines

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