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// Films // Maximum Tolerated Dose

Maximum Tolerated Dose

Karol Orzechowski / Canada / 2012 / 90 ' / English


Karol Orzechowski & Jonathan Eagan
Jo-Anne McArthur & Guna Subramaniam
Wyrd Visions
Bryan W. Bray
Jonathan Hodgson, Jennifer Bundock & Karol Orzechowski

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Awards & Festivals

Best Feature Animal Advocacy, Artivist Film Festival, California 2012
Public Awareness Lush Prize, London 2012
Official Selection, World Community Film Festival, Kelowna BC 2013
Official Selection, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca NY 2013
Official Selection, International Film festival for Environment, Health, and Culture, Jakarta Indonesia 2013

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A poetic intervention in the debate on animal rights, this unique and exquisite film explores the psychic and ethical fallout from animal lab testing.


Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD): An animal / human experiment to find the highest dose of a chemical that, when administered to a group of test subjects in a clinical trial, does not result in a fatality due to short-term toxicity. This dose is then used for longer-term safety studies of the same species, lasting anywhere from two years to a lifetime. The MTD test is controversial, however, in part because of difficulties in extrapolating findings to more realistic doses, and in extrapolating results from animals to humans.

Maximum Tolerated Dose is the first feature-length documentary by Decipher Films. Equal parts found-footage mash-up, verité investigation, and artful meditation, the film charts the lives of both humans and non-humans who have experienced animal testing first-hand, with hauntingly honest testimony of scientists and lab technicians whose ethics demanded they choose a different path, as well as the simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of animals who have seen both sides of the cage. MTD aims to re-ignite the debate about animal testing by bringing these rarely-heard perspectives to the fore.


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