Martin Klapheke is a nationally recognized UCF psychiatrist, a founding faculty member at the College of Medicine, and a leader of the medical school’s psychiatric residency programs. You can add another accomplishment to his CV: “scientific movie advisor.” And on April 21 or 22, you can see his work as part of the Florida Film Festival.
Klapheke was the advisor for My Love Affair with Marriage. The feature animated film by independent filmmaker and animator Signe Baumane, depicts a woman’s psychological journey as she seeks to find the perfect love that will solve all the problems in her life.
His job in the creation: Provide the scientific and medical background for the film’s lead character and the narrator, named Biology, who diagnoses the character’s psyche throughout the film.
“It was work and play combined into one experience,” he says of the project. “The film deals with topics that we all can relate to – love, relationships, emotions, loss and how relationships impact our self-esteem and self-image. I think people will find it informative, thought-provoking and educational.”
The film also addresses the role of free will — whether our behaviors are predetermined by our genetics and neurobiology or whether humans have the capacity to change.
This is not Klapheke’s first experience with artistic expression. He was a film discussant for Baumane’s best-known work, Rocks in My Pockets, which documents the history of suicide and depression in her family. And he is a performer himself — having appeared in musical, dramatic and comic theater productions.
“People actually paid money to hear me sing and didn’t ask for their money back when I was done,” he jokes.
Klapheke did his residency training at Mayo Clinic — and started out in internal medicine before finding his home in psychiatry. “That’s where I was in my zone,” he says of helping others with their mental health.
And as far as whether we have free will to make choices or are biologically predestined?
“We have neurological underpinnings, we are pre-wired for some things,” Klapheke says. “But just because you have a genetic predisposition to a condition doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to mitigate your risk. That’s where education comes in, because information is power. We learn, we change, we evolve. We understand why we do things and take off our many blind spots. We reflect. That’s how you grow. That’s life at its best.”
My Love Affair With Marriage will be shown at 1:30 p.m. on April 21 and at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at the Enzian Theater, 1300 Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751. Klapheke and Baumane will do a Q&A after the April 22 showing. For more information please visit floridafilmfestival.com/films/my-love-affair-with-marriage