About the Film

MDMA The Movie is the first comprehensive feature length documentary telling the fascinating story of MDMA, the drug also known as Ecstasy or Molly.

Directed by DanceSafe founder, Emanuel Sferios, and award-winning filmmaker, Johnny O’Hara, MDMA The Movie examines all aspects of this unique molecule, from its history as a therapeutic medicine, to its emergence as the world’s favorite party drug, to its soon-to-be approval by the FDA as a treatment for PTSD.

Addressing the myths and misinformation surrounding MDMA, the film explores the dismal failure of the war on drugs by demonstrating how prohibition creates unregulated, criminal drug markets and impedes crucial harm reduction services, creating the very problems it claims to solve.

MDMA The Movie provides a vision for a more rational drug policy that recognizes the reality and permanence of recreational drug use in society. Rejecting shame and stigma, it offers practical, life-saving alternatives to “zero-tolerance” approaches that only exacerbate drug-related harms.

Help us finish the film. Donate to our crowdfunding campaign!

Sign Up to Our Email List.

Get updates on the film’s progress and be the first to find out when we release new footage.

Meet the Team

Emanuel Sferios, Producer and Co-Director

Emanuel Sferios is an educator, drug policy reform activist and harm reduction pioneer. In 1998 he founded DanceSafe, the first nonprofit organization providing “pill testing” services to ecstasy users after counterfeit pills began killing young people in the mid-90s. DanceSafe is the oldest and largest harm reduction organization in the world serving psychedelic and party drug users, with over 35 chapters throughout North America.

In addition to founding DanceSafe, Sferios has been involved in numerous drug policy and harm reduction causes for more than two decades. An outspoken critic of the drug war, he has appeared on CNN, MTV, 60 Minutes, 20-20, 48 Hours, Geraldo, Dr. Drew and many other TV shows, radio programs and podcasts. He has been featured in dozens of print magazines and internet blogs and speaks regularly on college and university campuses.

Most recently, in response to the opiod epidemic, Sferios helped test and market a new life saving harm reduction tool; fentanyl testing strips. Fentanyl and its analogs are between 50 and 200 times stronger than heroin and are singly responsible for the twenty-fold increase in opiate fatalities in the US. These new strips can detect fentanyl and its analogs in heroin and other drugs, helping prevent accidental poisonings. DanceSafe offers these strips online directly to drug consumers. They currently sell over 10,000 adulterant screening kits every month to drug users around the world.

Emanuel is the founder and President of Viveka Films. He currently lives in Northern California with his wife and two step-children.

Johnny O’Hara, Co-Director

Johnny O’Hara is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with an extensive list of theatrical credits. His first feature documentary Fuel, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be one of only fifteen films on the Oscar short-list for Best Documentary. Fuel was also nominated by the Writer’s Guild of America for best documentary screenplay.

Johnny was also the writer and director of Bhutto. Bhutto was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2010 and was also an official selection of the Hot Docs Film Festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, The Rome International Film Festival, The Vancouver International Film Festival, The Stockholm International Film Festival and The Jakarta International Film Festival.

In addition to winning the George Foster Peabody award and being nominated for an Emmy, Bhutto was the winner of a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding U.S. Historical Documentary at the Sonoma International Film Festival, winner of Best Documentary at The Rhode Island International Film Festival, winner of the ABCNews VideoSource Award from The International Documentary Association and winner of the EPIC Award by The White House Project. After a 47 city US theatrical run and a successful release in both Pakistan and the UK, Bhutto had its national television premiere on PBS Independent Lens.

Johnny was also the writer of The Big Fix, which premiered as an official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. His most recent film, Good Fortune, had its international premiere at the 2016 Zurich Film Festival and its American premiere at the 2016 Austin Film Festival. It was awarded Best of the Fest and Best Documentary Film at the 2017 Sedona Film Festival, and had an 8 city theatrical release by Lionsgate. Johnny’s next film, Kiss The Ground, narrated by Woody Harrelson and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, will be released in 2017.

Stephen Nemeth, Producer

Stephen Nemeth formed and heads up Rhino Films, the independent film company that originated as a division of iconoclastic record label Rhino Records. He has produced and executive produced dozens of films including THE SESSIONS (Sundance 2012 Audience Award, 2013 Academy Award nomination for Helen Hunt), C.O.G. (Sundance 2013), FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE, WHAT WE DO IS SECRET, RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH and SPACEMAN. He is developing the New York Times bestselling book CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN as a television series with George Clooney and Smokehouse and is in pre-production on the Robert Johnson biopic LOVE IN VAIN and on both Hunter S. Thompson’s THE CURSE OF LONO and FREAK POWER: THE BATTLE OF ASPEN.

Nemeth’s documentary credits include DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS (Sundance 2001 Audience Award), PICK UP THE MIC (Toronto 2005), WARDANCE (2008 Academy Award nomination), FUEL (Sundance 2008 Audience Award), FLOW (Sundance 2008), CLIMATE REFUGEES (Sundance 2010), ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’, RIDE WITH LARRY, UNDER THE BOARDWALK: THE MONOPOLY STORY, THE THREE HIKERS, EDUCATION INC, PUMP, THE PEACEMAKER, GOOD FORTUNE, LOGAN’S SYNDROME and THANK YOU FOR COMING.

He serves on the boards of Friends of the Earth, the International Documentary Association, the STAR Ecostation, the EarthX enviromental film festival in Dallas, the Carmel Film Festival, Wheels For Humanity, Children Uniting Nations, and on the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, Children Mending Hearts and OneVoice. He is an advisor to the Zurich Film Festival and on the dean’s board of UC Santa Cruz’s School for the Arts. While on the board for Artists for Amnesty, he developed numerous human rights related features and documentaries. He serves as a consultant for Admetech, a Harvard Medical School foundation developing prostate imaging technology.

Nemeth is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the 2013 Global Action Award , the 2009 Vision Award for Documentary Producer and the 2009 Artivist Award for his advocacy and production of socially conscious films. He was named one of the “Top Ten Most Prolific Producers in Hollywood” by The Hollywood Reporter, and one of the “Ten Coolest People in Hollywood” by an online survey of 500 agents, managers, journalists, and lawyers. Prior to forming Rhino Films, Nemeth worked as an independent producer and as a motion picture agent at the William Morris Agency. He is a graduate of UCLA and is both an American and British citizen.

Organizations Supporting the Film

Find Us On Social Media