The short film Struggles Within was recently released online for a short period of time before it heads to festivals. The short view period of the film was to allow cast and crew as well as the public to see the film prior to it being sent to festivals. The film is a 14 minute telling of a story through almost all music and dance about a girl struggling with depression and contemplating suicide. The creators did not expect the over whelming positive response they have received. The messages have been coming in with people who identify with the film and its message. “The film is a timely story that speaks to what many people in society are struggling with. It is done in a way that words do not fill the story but images and music so the viewer can “feel” the story being told on screen”, says Matthew Marshall the film’s co-producer and Production Manager. Many of the viewers are relating to the subject as they have experienced mental illness and depression in their lives or by someone close to them.
The film was a collaboration between IME Films, m & s Marshall Productions and iFilmGroup. Struggles Within is written and directed by Corrinne Wood. When asked about the film, Wood had this to say “mental illness is something really near and dear to my heart, and this film is designed to show an audience who may not be struggling with a mental illness what kind of daily struggles really goes on inside the mind of someone struggling with depression.” The film is an emotional look at one young women’s struggle with depression, her struggles with her inner demons and her choice as to whether she wants to continue to live.
Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015 alone. Yet it is also one of the most stigmatized condition, and misconceptions are very common. Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.
The condition of depression and those suffering from depressions surrounds and affects the m & s Marshall and IME Film teams. Also a number of iFilmGroup members struggle with anxiety, depression and mental illness. “The issue hits close to home for many of us” says Don Hickey, iFilmGroup co-founder. “Friends, Family and those around many of us deal with depression every day” says Marshall. It is why Marshall, Hickey, m & s Marshall Productions and the iFilmGroup teamed up with IME films to undertake making this film. The film’s lead dancer who plays the role of “The Girl”, Katie Ostojic feels dancing in the film was a wonderful opportunity to do what she loves the most, to dance. “Being part of this film is an opportunity to inspire others, especially youth” says Ostojic when talking about her role in the film. She goes on to say, “The story about overcoming demons and finding hope Is one I know well, and It’s an honour for me to tell this story through the art dance. Hope changes everything”.
Some of the comments about the film……
“I love this film! I relate on so many levels. Thank you for making it and opening up the conversation about mental Illness” – Tanya C.
“Great story. My wife suffers with depression and we both can relate to this film on so many levels. Great Job.” – Mark G.
“This film blew my mind. The team presented the issue of mental illness through the mind of someone who suffers from it, in a very real way. Awesome job.” – Megan T.
“Congratulations you did a fantastic job! The “I’m fine/ save me” was a really cool idea and worked really well to convey the message! I also like how seemingly outnumbered “hope” was by the multitude of “inner demons”, yet “hope” refuses to be extinguished. You did a great job!” – Dayna V.
“Thank you for making a film that open the doors to discussion on the topic of depression” – Jamie T.
Struggles Within presents the struggles that someone with mental illness deals with. I love the images. You had me gripping my seat and cheering for ‘the Girl’ to defeat Depression - Emma L.
“A gripping story that so many people can relate to.” – Stacey R.
“I was moved by the telling of this story through dance and images. You touched me with the story. Thank you for telling a story that open doors to discuss the topic of depression and break down stigmas related to the issue.” – Angela B.
The film will be up online for viewing a bit longer and then will be entered into film festivals for the next year. Following that the film’s director Corrinne Wood would like to give it to various community organizations for them to have and use in sharing the story of what it is like to struggle with depression and with inner demons.