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May

May (UK • 2013 • 3mins, 30secs)

“I feel different from others around me in a sense that I sometimes feel like you never know what’s going on in somebody’s head.”

A poignant glimpse inside the mind of May, her view of the world, and the  problems she faces in day-to-day life.

Co-Director: Willem Evans
Co-Director/Producer: Jordan Tindale
Camera: Katie-Jo Watson
Lighting/camera: Peter Langman
Sound: Yasmin Curry

Mentored by Magali Pettier

 

In Conversation with the Director:
Willem Evans

By Jack Auty, Cuckoo Review

After an enlightening chat with Willem Evans, director of short mental health awareness documentary MAY in the Tyneside Cinema bar, it was clear that the Documentary Academy at the cinema is an enjoyable and informative scheme, with many dedicated staff working towards its success. Mentored by Magali Pettier, a talented group of young filmmakers were tasked with creating a short film over two weeks. This included pitching the idea, pre-production, filming, and the beginnings of editing. Time was short, and creating a documentary in a fortnight would have been no easy task!

“[People] don’t appreciate how mental illnesses can warp lives,”

Working with other students they’d never met before, Willem, Jordan Tindale, Yasmin Curry, Katie-Jo Watson, and Peter Langman crafted a compelling Q&A documentary with May, a long-time sufferer of depression and anxiety. “It was important to show people what having a mental illness actually means. Some are scared to talk about it, some disregard it completely. This film explores what it means, and how she [May] has struggled to stop it taking control of her life,’ said Evans. “Everyone got involved to make her feel comfortable, and we were all helping each other throughout the project.”

Willem couldn’t help but stress how fantastic the entire Academy experience was, leaving him with skills that will help him in future jobs and projects. With many different groups each focusing on completely different topics, the diversity of this scheme was huge – and, after hearing that some of these productions will be submitted to film festivals across the country, I have no doubt that the standard is extremely high.