Film brings teens back from brink
THE American producer of a film looking at youth suicide claims his movie has stopped young people from ending their lives.
My Suicide – which will be shown on the North Coast as part of the Byron Bay Film Festival – is the story of a 17-year-old high school student who decides to kill himself on camera for a school project.
The youth is then beset by doctors, counsellors, teachers and other students.
The movie’s Los Angeles-based director/writer/editor, David Lee Miller, who is in Byron Bay this week, denies being flippant about suicide.
“This movie has the mission to promote healing and connection and we worked with mental health professionals,” Mr Miller said.
“The film has the message that young people aren’t alone in their pain.”
Mr Miller said too many people working in youth mental health felt that suicide should never be mentioned.
“But all of our research shows us that you need to shatter the silence and taboo surrounding suicide,” he said.
“(We need to) reach out to young people and communicate to them that they are not alone and that there are other people who feel this way.”
He said one of his film’s key messages was that connectedness comes through giving.
“So this movie is very hopeful,” he said.
“We have heard many stories about young people who have pulled back from the edge and families who were bound into more communication after seeing the film.
“I must have 50 documented cases and we’ve only been screening at festivals.”
Mr Miller said he wanted the film to have an authentic youth voice, so young people were involved throughout the making of the film.
“They helped with writing, editing, cameras and music,” he said.
My Suicide is on at 6.45pm on Saturday and Mr Miller will be at the screening.
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