INDIANAPOLIS — A local clinical psychologist was recently voted as "Best Human Rights Director" at the Toronto International Women Film Festival for "Three Corners of Deception."
Based on actual events in Indianapolis, the independent film will be showing at Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie on October 5.
"It's awareness, for me. It's a passion movie," Dr. Meleeka Clary told WRTV about her first independent film.
The local therapist — also a paralegal — took the tragic events of her marriage and custody battle within the Indiana court system to the big screen because Clary said her story needed to be told in a big way.
Making the indie film took Clary five years, five different states, and the casting of more than 60 speaking roles, many of which were Hoosiers.
"I did not know how to write a script; I researched. I did not know how to run a camera; I researched," Clary said of the film-making process. "I didn't know how to get a cast. I did Indeed."
The movie — which Clary also stars in, playing herself — heavily relies on Clary's real life. Situations that she says she's still dealing with today.
"All these people started getting into the business and started doing things very negatively to me, and that's why the movie needed to be said, because you shouldn't do that," Clary explained.
The Boston native moved to Carmel nearly 13 years ago to be with her now ex-husband. She said it started like any other relationship with a "whirlwind love affair," but it quickly turned into a "nightmare of being caught in lies and deception."
"I was going to jail for 24 hours to allow my son to be baptized," Clary said of the day in 2016 that motivated her to start filming the movie. "And that day, right there, was not legal to do to somebody because you have a right to religion ... and really that opened the door for me to start filming."
Clary claims she had been bullied by not only her ex-husband, who is a lawyer, but the court system. The press release for the film even goes as far as calling the state judicial system "corrupt."
"You have to see the movie to see the corners of [the story]. But it started as a romance, and ... it did not end up being just like that," Clary said.
Three Corners of Deception has a run time of about two hours and 20 minutes. It's currently touring to selective theatres, including Kan Kan Cinema, where it will make its Indianapolis debut on Tuesday, October 5.
"I have to say, I've been receiving great results," Clary said. "And this is only a snippet. There's no way you can put how much one person can go through in two hours and 19 minutes in a 13-year span."
Clary hopes those who view her movie come to the understanding that despite all the odds, survival is possible.
"Keep it together and just don't give up. Because there's always somebody that's going to hear you."