AEA board member, Susannah Cahalan’s “Brain on Fire” to be shown at Toronto International Film Festival

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Chloe Grace Moretz plays Susannah Cahalan in the move version of “Brain on Fire.”

One morning, 24-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up in a hospital bed. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t move. And she had no idea how she got there. The following is from the Toronto International Film Festival website.

Based on Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, director Gerard Barrett’s adaptation captures the horrifying experience of one woman’s unexplained descent into madness and the medical miracle it took to pull her back from the brink.

brainonfire_02Fresh out of journalism school and ready to embark on adult life, Susannah (Chloë Grace Moretz) already seemed to have it all: her dream job at the New York Post, supportive co-workers (Tyler Perry and Jenny Slate), a devoted boyfriend (Thomas Mann), and a loving family (Richard Armitage and Carrie-Anne Moss).

brainonfire_04Then, almost overnight, this ingénue went from one of the Post‘s most reliable reporters to an unstable, paranoid shell of her former self.  Plagued by auditory hallucinations and memory loss, doctors dismissed her condition with a diagnosis of partying too hard and stress. But as her condition worsened, the stakes grew higher, and the race to find an answer became a matter of life and death.


Produced by Oscar winner Charlize Theron, Brain on Fire is a gripping medical mystery that probes into the complexities of identity, family, and fortitude in the face of adversity.

Susannah Cahalan
Susannah Cahalan

AEA board of directors member, Susannah Cahalan is an award-winning journalist and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Brain on Fire” about her struggle with autoimmune encephalitis in 2009. Her work has appeared in the New York Post, New York Times, Scientific American magazine, and other publications. She frequently speaks at universities and hospitals about her experience with autoimmune encephalitis. Susannah lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and dog. For more information, see her website