Documentary being filmed staring local people

Documentary being filmed staring local people

Regional, award winning young person’s charity Student Life has started production on its latest mental health filming project.

‘Out of the Dark, Into the Light’ was the title of the Charity’s very first mental health awareness film, produced in 2018 by its then newly formed production company ‘Unity Films’.  The unique and continuing aspect of Unity Films was that the production was entirely led by film and media students.  Fast forward 4 years and with 5 films now completed, the Charity has decided to re-make the first film, showcasing its huge steps forward in production quality, as well as offering the opportunity for more young people to tell the story of their mental health journey.

“The first film was shot using the host school’s equipment and facilities and in just 4 years, our access to equipment and pre & post-production techniques has vastly improved” explained Student Life’s Chief Executive and Productions Director Richard Stewart.

“We do not want to lose the raw appeal of the original documentary though and we will be editing scenes from that film into the remake.  We also want to ensure that the 5 very brave young people featured in that original film, still have their combined voice several years later”.

The remake of ‘Out of the Dark’ will be shot ‘talking heads’ style as per the original brief, with 6 young people telling their own experiences of mental ill-health and learning to understand and live with what comes with this.  The film will – once again – be produced, filmed and edited by 14 to 25 year olds.  The whole process is overseen and supported by professional filmmakers Offset Films.  The production is being hosted by Canterbury College and now in 2021, Unity Films includes young people from Kent, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

“We have a large representation on production from Kent and Canterbury in particular” explained Richard.  “So, whilst the original film was shot in Suffolk, the remake is based in Kent”.

Over 12,000 young people have seen the original film, via assembly presentations and college workshops across the South-East of England and Unity Films knows that the remake will have the same reach and impact.

“The feedback from school and college staff is tremendous and so too are the comments from our young viewers.  Normalising a stigmatised subject is at the core of everything that Student Life does as a young person led, mental health charity and our unique peer-to-peer approach ensures this remains the case”.

Filming is scheduled to take 5 days and the final edit will pass through the Charity’s young steering group for sign-off, prior to being released in time for use in schools and colleges from the new academic year in September.

To find out more about Student Life, the projects and how to be involved, get in touch at

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