The Definition of Insanity is a tragi-comedy about elusive dreams, love, loss, and the passions that drive us. It is structured as a documentary about Robert (Robert Margolis), an actor moving past his prime who is still running after that one great role. His life begins to unravel as he struggles to survive in a competitive environment without realizing how his obsession affects the people close to him. Like many barely surviving artists he faces the existential question: When is the time to move on? Just when it seems that he will be forced by family and financial pressures to give up everything he has worked for, he meets legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich ("The Cat's Meow", "The Last Picture Show"). That encounter changes his life profoundly -- but in a very different way than he had anticipated.

The Definition of Insanity is a film about big dreams and everyday rituals, humiliating defeats and little triumphs, and the inexplicable optimism -- some might call it delusion -- that keeps us going.

Blurring the line between fiction and reality, the directors combine their fictional story with some real documentary footage, a mix that gives the material freshness, immediacy and an unsettling authenticity. The Definition of Insanity was shot on location throughout New York City over the course of 18 months. Working from a simple storyline, the directors developed the individual scenes together with the actors who in real life face many of the same questions as their characters in the movie.

Written and directed by Robert Margolis and Frank Matter.

Robert Margolis has had leading roles as an actor in numerous independent feature films. He is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. This is his first work as a director and producer.  

Frank Matter's surreal film noir Morocco and his medium-long documentary The Beauty of My Island have been shown at many festivals around the world (i.e. Locarno, Ankara, Calcutta, Montreal, Max-Ophuls Saarbrücken, Bergamo, New York, New Orleans, Figueira da Foz etc.) and have won several awards.  

The Definition of Insanity was completed with a post-production grant from the renowned Swiss Foundation Migros-Kulturprozent.

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