About the Project

"Pharmsis a psychedelic dramedy that offers a glimpse into opposing perspectives via visual and musical whimsy.

It pays homage to a changing city and a changing ethos regarding American healthcare via the toggling dynamics of a brother and sister from San Francisco.


While San Francisco experiences its second-wave Gold Rush in the form of the Techie Era, a tug of war between pharmaceutical companies and natural healthcare emerges, this time with an emphasis on marijuana and psychedelics.

“Pharms” is a short film and proof of concept for a television series.

While Brian fledges at the family’s pharmacy, his reefer-smoking sister, Sara, surfs and plays in a band. Things turn when their mother’s mental health begins to decline along the vein of Alzheimer’s and Sara learns of her own life-threatening diagnosis. Bound by an inherent love and concern for the family, Brian and Sara must find redemption in the midst of their clashing beliefs of western and alternative medicine.

More to Consider

Aside from staging the well-known issues of big pharma and alternative holisticism in their respective extremes at play, “Pharms” reminds us that bias begets bias. A strange phenomenon of bias confirmation occurs when the judged fulfills a behavior due to an accuser’s anticipations.


Have you found yourself saying things you never say and possibly don’t even believe as though your words were written out for you, as though you were fulfilling someone’s expectations?

This binary thought pattern has inspired the binary code we use to program computers. It involves neural firings and biomagnetism and is responsible for right wing verses left wing, good verses bad. It is also responsible for the impulsive judgements that divide between self and other. In actuality, we share a variety of universal experiences. 

Do these binary tendencies continue to serve us or are we ready to evolve?

About the Creator

Writer and director, Molly McGivern, studied psychology at McGill University and trained as an actor at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre and Michael Howard Studios in New York.


Having taken up residence in Asia, Hawaii, Europe and French-Canada, she assisted studies in “cultural chameleonness” and experienced cultural biases that affect not only perspectives but also behavior and how this psychological tendency perpetuates further polarity as the pendulum continues to swing.

Molly worked with Theatre of the Oppressed founder, Augusto Boal in New York fresh after September 11th and Roma tribes in Romania alongside Dramatherapy pioneer, Dr. Sue Jennings. She designed music and theatre-based programs with orphans on Mongolian farmland and integrated Autistic students into mainstream classrooms through the use of humor and theatrics in Hawaii.


Molly is currently designing a program that exchanges permaculture practices with traditional Indian farming techniques in the Himalayas. Her intention is to “build bridges” and inspire people to build their own.


“Pharms” is a film-based project drawing from her personal experience and expertise.

Given its rich historical impact and dramatic transformations, there is no better place to set a series about building bridges than the Golden Gate City, itself.

Partners in Collaboration