For teenage filmmaker Ella Greenwood, altering perceptions of psychological well being in the media is a high precedence.
At the age of 19 she’s written and directed a collection of brief movies exploring teenage psychological well being starring Bafta-nominated actors and Netflix stars – and one is set to grow to be a function size movie.
Ella, from Enfield, suffered together with her psychological well being all through her teenage years and was upset with the manner psychological well being is represented in the media.
After years of appearing, at the age of 18 she determined she wished to inform her personal tales and based her manufacturing firm, Broken Flames.
“I type of fell in love with appearing at a younger age,” she defined.
“I bought signed with an agent and had been auditioning for most of my teenage years, primarily auditioning and not listening to again.
“So once I turned 18, I simply determined that I wished to inform my very own tales. I wished to have a bit extra management, resolve what I do with my time and to create my very own work. So that is once I made my first brief movie.”
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Ella desires to be a optimistic power in driving higher feminine illustration in all areas of the movie business, in addition to directing highly effective movies about points shut to her coronary heart.
Representing psychological well being in an trustworthy, correct manner is important for Ella, who says current portrayals of psychological well being in movie and TV will be very damaging – for instance the sensationalised dialogue of melancholy and suicide in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.
She stated: “Many that I’ve seen have accomplished extra hurt than good – there’s such a problem with the business romanticising suicide, for instance.
“It’s extremely dangerous that the business tends to over-emphasise sure points, utilizing psychological well being for leisure worth fairly than destigmatising it.
“It’s about taking care to get that illustration proper and not have it do extra hurt than good.”
(Image: Ines Hachou)
Ella’s personal struggles with psychological well being began when she was round 13.
She defined that creating her first movie was virtually cathartic in serving to her course of what she’d been by.
“I wished to write about psychological well being and share my experiences, which is what I did with my first movie, Faulty Roots.
“I completely liked it, it was a pleasant factor for me to delve into one thing that I’d simply wished to cover. I liked engaged on a psychological well being movie and I wished to deal with these kinds of tasks with Broken Flames.”
She is additionally the youngest ever ambassador for London-based teenage psychological well being charity stem4 – “they’re what I wanted once I was struggling, I want I’d had them,” she stated.
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Ella crowdfunded Faulty Roots, which is quickly to be made right into a function size movie starring Gavin and Stacey’s Melanie Walters, and she feels fortunate to have damaged into the movie business so younger and with out a monetary security web.
She stated: “Most profitable British actors went to personal college, and the movie business nonetheless very a lot works on that – the connections, having the ability to work for free [to get into the industry] as a result of you’ve got cash to fall again on.
(Image: Broken Flames Productions)
“I by no means had that, and it is extraordinarily troublesome if you do not have these connections or a security web to get into the business.
“It’s fortunate that I do reside in London, as a result of there are lots of wonderful occasions, workshops, festivals the place tickets for beneath 25s can be free, and it is necessary to make the most of these and hunt them out.
“I crowdfunded my first brief: I made an electronic mail pitch with the script and a glance e-book and bought in contact with movie traders having had no expertise – however they actually believed in me and the venture.
“It was about having the confidence to ship that electronic mail not understanding what the response can be.”
Ella’s third movie, Self-Charm, stars Bukky Bakray – a teenage actress from Hackney who has been nominated for two BAFTAs, together with Best Actress in a Leading Role for her breakthrough function in 2019 movie Rocks.
She has simply completed capturing Smudged Smile, the first in a psychological well being anthology collection, starring Mia McKenna-Bruce – the lead in Netflix present Get Even. It additionally stars Priya Blackburn, recognized for Bohemian Rhapsody, Elliot Levey, who was in ITV drama Quiz.
(Image: Broken Flames Productions)
Next up for Ella and Broken Flames is Why Wouldn’t I Be?, the first of her movies that may deal with a male lead character.
“In the UK, round 75 per cent of suicides are dedicated by males – and that determine’s related throughout the globe.
“I wished to deal with that, do a movie that addresses, in a refined manner, why that is.
“The movie follows the explanation why the lead character is not ready to communicate out. It does not deal with why he is struggling, as a result of individuals wrestle for so many alternative causes, and generally there is not even a motive.
“It focuses on the relationships he has, and the occasions the place he virtually speaks out about his struggles however then by no means does, and the explanation why that is.”
As for the future, Ella is remaining open-minded.
“I like doing brief movies, as a result of they’re such an incredible manner to get messages throughout, however I’d additionally love to do a TV present in the future.”
Mainly, she desires “to have made work that I hope would have helped individuals, and actually destigmatise psychological well being and change the illustration in the media.”
You can discover out extra about Broken Flames productions on their web site.
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