Leeds teens’ film shines light on mental health

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A talented teenage director from Leeds has spoken of his pride after completing a self-funded film which aims to break the stigma around mental health.

Gage Oxley, 18, of Whinmoor, has just wrapped Beneath the Shadows through the production company Six° Films, which he set up earlier this year with fellow film buffs, James Hodge and Alex Hull, both 19.

The trio met through the Leeds Film Academy and Media Fish - which works with youngsters in the city interested in film - and are now turning their love of movies into film-making reality.

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Beneath the Shadows had a budget of £35,000, funded mainly through crowdfunding campaigns, and was filmed in and around Leeds using actors from the city and beyond.

The film follows an A-level student - played by Leeds actress Anna Keat - suffering from depression and anxiety and her search for happiness in a “realistic, raw and gritty way”, according to Gage who wrote and directed the film.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I’m really pleased with the end product, so many people have put a lot of effort and hard work into it, and everyone’s commitment to destroying the stigma attached to mental health has definitely come across. I really do hope that our film does spark that discussion and does start to get people talking about mental health and perhaps their own concerns of mental illness.”

The film’s trailer was released earlier this month on You Tube and has already attracted over 2,000 views.

Beneath The Shadows will be screened at Leeds International Film Festival later this year.

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