Part Time Fabulous at BIFF

Alethea Root and Don Presley in U.S. Debut

By: - May 23, 2011


Filmmakers Jules Bruff (TIXE Films), Alethea Root and Don Presley (Truth 13 Productions), in partnership with Eleonore Daily, and Cheryl Stewart (howUNoriginal Productions) will make their U.S debut at the prestigious Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) on June 3rd and June 5th with PART TIME FABULOUS. Great Barrington native and independent filmmaker, Alethea Root, returns home for her directorial debut of PART TIME FABULOUS and Berkshire’s own award-winning, folk singer Meg Hutchinson lent her poignant song Being Happy for the trailer. No U.S. distributor is attached at this time. See below for premiere screening details.

The compelling feature-length film, by Creator Jules Bruff and Director Alethea Root, weaves its tale of love, pain and healing by chronicling the hidden struggles and controversial perspectives of real life depression survivors against a modern love story. The film is proudly supported by the esteemed National Alliance for Mental Illness Berkshire County Chapter (NAMI) and was inspired by Bruff’s intensely personal experience with Clinical Depression, which she was diagnosed with at the age of 20 and battled in secret for years.

“Literally and figuratively, one morning I awoke determined to face my personal battle with Depression.  Having been diagnosed with clinical Depression when I was 20, I have alternately felt confused, angry, embarrassed, sad, responsible, hopeless, ashamed, and alone. I kept my diagnosis and my experience close to my chest…I never let anyone into the heart of my very real illness. I hope our film, PART TIME FABULOUS, will help illuminate what it can be like to live with Clinical Depression.  In making this film I discovered that most people I spoke with had a family member or friend whose life had been adversely affected by mental illness.  I want to spread the word: Depression isn’t your fault, nor should you be ashamed of it…help is available,” says creator, Jules Bruff.

In PART TIME FABULOUS, The film follows Mel (Jules Bruff), a young woman who suddenly falls in love with a man, Don (Bjørn Johnson), on vacation. So taken with each other, he moves in with her twelve days later. It’s not until then that her deep-rooted and untreated Clinical Depression reveals itself. Her inability to deal with her illness pushes a wedge between them and ultimately breaks them apart. Mel is forced to finally face her disease alone. In the quest to heal herself, she sets out to make a documentary that exposes her truth, and the heartfelt truth of others dealing with Clinical Depression.

Mel (Jules Bruff) examines the social, philosophical and often treacherous implications of keeping one’s Depression hidden from loved ones, the stigma that mental illness plays in a victim’s life, and the challenges that are associated with finding help and living with Clinical Depression -- from the acute risk of suicide and hospitalization to the process of unlocking a healthy breakthrough.

The film had its World Premiere at the Monaco International Charity Film Festival and creator/lead actor Jules Bruff was honored with a “Best Actress in a Narrative Feature” award for her stellar portrayal of a woman coming to grips with her depression.

"Forget any Hollywood portrayal of mental illness you've ever seen. Jules Bruff sets a new standard for raw honesty and fearless integrity. It is a staggering performance," said Stephen Chbosky, the award-winning writer/director of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, creator/writer of Jericho; and the writer of RENT, for the screen.

Opposite Bruff’s award-winning portrayal of Mel, is her love interest, Don, played by the distinguished Bjorn Johnson, an award-winning actor, director, producer and acting coach in theater, film and television. He most recently starred on stage in the international hit, TRIO, and guest starred in the The Event, Criminal Minds, the final episode of ER, Mad Men and Dexter. “In the midst of a serious subject matter, working with Jules, Alethea, and the crew on Part Time Fabulous was a delight. The improvisational style they used was thrilling.  I'm also grateful for how much I learned about depression and how wide-spread it is on our society," says Bjørn Jonson.

The film was lauded as “a fascinating film,” by director/writer/producer John Dowdle (Quarantine, DEVIL, Transcendent Man) and “a triumph of filmmaking and the human spirit,” said Liz Maccie, writer, ABC Family’s Make It OR Break It.

PART TIME FABULOUS is produced by Truth 13 Productions and TIXE Films in association with howUNoriginal Productions. The production team began principal photography in November 2009 and continued through May 2010. Bruff and Root documented more than 200 hours of personal accounts from 25 depression survivors across California. These real-life experiences are woven throughout the intense and modern love story surrounding the main characters, Mel (Jules Bruff) and Don (Bjorn Johnson).  

Director and Great Barrington native Alethea Root has always been committed to the work of exposing truth around difficult issues by bring them to the stage and is now proud to be continuing that work as a filmmaker. Root is thankful to be bringing this film to the Berkshire's and hopes that it can help bring much needed attention to Clinical Depression. 

Award-winning American composers David Poe and Amy Raasch of noted musical group, The President’s Kids, contribute original theme music that mirrors the depth and intensity of the film. Additional songs from celebrated American musicians The Milkman’s Union, Chip Goodwin, Abby Miller are also featured.

"1 in 4 Americans are affected by a serious Mental illness.  These medical conditions are treatable and recovery is possible--yet many individuals do not seek help.  Major depression can rob an individual of the simplest of pleasures as well as the ability to live a meaningful life. PART TIME FABULOUS can make a difference in the public's perception of mental illness and what it takes to achieve the balance of mental, physical, and emotional elements, which support recovery.  Here's a film that merits all the accolades it has received. We are pleased to be able to support its appearance here in Berkshire County" says NAMI-Berkshire County

PART TIME FABULOUS will have its U.S. Premiere Friday June 3rd, 9:00pm at the Triplex Cinema #2 and will screen again on Sunday June 5th, 11:15 am at the Beacon Cinema. For tickets and information please


About Part Time Fabulous – The Movie: /     
About Truth 13 Productions and Alethea Root:    
About TIXE Films and Jules Bruff:     
About National Alliance on Mental Illness: /
About Bjorn Johnson:
About David Poe and Amy Raasch (The Presidents Kids): l  and