Exploring Mental Health and Belonging as themes in Film this January

Exploring Mental Health and Belonging as themes in Film this January

A chance to shine a light on topics otherwise left under the radar on public platforms; independent short films I Need To Talk To God (Elisha Tawe, 2023), Weirdo (3D, 2023), and Nexus (Chris Godwin, 2022) premiere this January and centre around the topics of mental health and belonging in the age of 2023. A creatively poignant start to the new year, and are ones to watch.

Shot entirely on an iPhone, I Need To Talk To God will be launched on the AppleTV app on January 16th, 2023, as part of a competitive training programme run by Fully Focused Productions. The story centers around a young Cameroonian battling with his identity and the notion of belonging while trying to “remember and recapture the ideas of family and the home he has left behind.” In this short, the fight for home, healing, acceptance, and belonging are significant factors. Its depth is unmatched, and the delivery onscreen is haunting. 

Stills from the I Need To Talk To God shoot day (photo credit: Ronni Winter)
Stills from the I Need To Talk To God shoot day (photo credit: Ronni Winter)

Also produced with Fully Focused Productions and available on the AppleTV app, Weirdo is a short experimental examining how inner dialogue can make or break relationships. It looks at the anxiety that can suddenly grip you whenever you’re enjoying yourself with friends and plagues you for the rest of the day. It’s spirited, poignant, and delightfully weird.

AppleTV+ Creative Labs (photo credit: Yasmin)

Finally, working in partnership with Burdett Trust and West London NHS Trust, Inner Eye Productions have co-produced Nexus. Delving into the topic of COVID-19’s impact on young people’s mental health, Nexus concentrates explicitly on eating disorders within men and a hyperawareness of body image triggered by the pandemic. As close to home as Nexus is, I feel it will be an uncomfortable watch; however, some of the best independent films are just that uncomfortable.

Dr. Lindsay Dewa (top, centre), Advanced Research Fellow in Mental Health at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London with the co-producers and Chris Godwin, Director and partner (bottom, right) of Inner Eye Productions, working on story development. (Credit: Imperial University)

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About Author

Maygan Forbes

Born in a small suburb in North London, Maygan Forbes has spent the majority of her life studying in cold cities and defending the spelling of her name. When she’s not having an extended quarter life crisis in Soho Theatre bar, she can often be seen gathering creative inspiration from the streets of Crouch End or her second home: 3tribes Hot Yoga studio.