Filmmaker Connect Series

The Filmmaker Connect Series features deep dive conversations and actionable resources around a particular theme from an UnLonely Film Festival selection. Here you’ll find resources inspired by the film, “SHARE,”  highlighting issues around LGBTQ youth well-being. Please enjoy the entire film and conversation with filmmakers, leading advocates, and mental health professionals.

Meet the Panelists

Barna Szász

Barna Szász is a Budapest-born filmmaker and XR explorer and his work has been featured by The Guardian, as a Staff Pick on Vimeo, and exhibited at numerous film festivals around the world. Barna moved to the U.S. on a Fulbright and graduated from Stanford University’s M.F.A. Documentary Film program in 2019.

Ellie Wen

Ellie Wen is an award-winning filmmaker from Hong Kong and Los Angeles. She attended Stanford University and graduated with a B.A. in Drama and a Minor in Sociology. Ellie is an alumna of Film Independent’s Project Involve fellowship program and she recently received her M.F.A. in Documentary Film from Stanford University.

Tim Chau

Tim Chau started his first Instagram account in middle school, a one-direction fanpage. Since then, he has built various internet communities with millions of followers, with his largest one being his meme page @3.1415926535897932384626433832! now shifting his focus to social justice and are creating Impact, a digital platform for young voices that reaches 20 million people monthly.

Pallavi Rudraraju

Pallavi Rudraraju is the Youth Well-Being Coordinator for the Human Rights Campaign, where they advocate for LGBTQ+ youth and their families through educational, leadership, and outreach programming. In their time as a youth-serving professional, Pallavi has created a middle school mental health awareness initiative, published resources for parents of gender-expansive youth, and provided professional developments on Asian American mental health, LGBTQ 101s, and serving LGBTQ youth, particularly API LGBTQ youth.

Emily Skehill

Emily Skehill is the Manager of Public Education and Awareness at Mental Health America where she develops digital content to support individuals seeking mental health resources and synthesizes research to inform MHA’s awareness efforts. She currently leads MHA’s COVID-19 response as relates to public-facing information.

The Issue

In the film, we meet Tim; an 18-year-old Instagram influencer attempting to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.

Coming-of-age as an LGBTQ youth in America can be difficult and scary. While there is hope, the challenges are more common than you might think.

Infographic by MHA 

Human Rights Campaign Research Tells Us…

Mental Health America Research Tells Us…

  • A majority of LGBTQ+ people say that they or an LGBTQ+ friend or family member have been threatened or non-sexually harassed (57 percent), been sexually harassed (51 percent), or experienced violence (51 percent) because of their sexuality or gender identity. 
  • Fifty-nine percent of LGBTQ+ people feel that they have fewer employment opportunities and 50 percent believe they are paid less than non-LGBTQ+ people. 
  • Thirty-eight percent of transgender people say they have experienced slurs and 28 percent have experienced insensitive or offensive comments because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 
  • Twenty-two percent of transgender individuals say they have avoided doctors or health care our of concern they would be discriminated against

Trevor Project Research Tells Us…

  • Overall, more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13 and 24 in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year
  • We estimate that at least 1.2 million LGBTQ youth aged 13-18 in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year. ○ We further estimate that at least 693,000 LGBTQ youth aged 19-24 in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year.
  • 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered
  • 71% of LGBTQ youth reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year
  • Less than half of LGBTQ respondents were out to an adult at school, with youth much less likely to disclose their gender identity than sexual orientation
  • 2 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that someone tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation

Resources

If you are in crisis, please reach out immediately for help. There are several resources for help in a crisis:

  • TEXT: Text HOME to 741741 for U.S.; 686868 for Canada
  • CALL: 1-877-565-8860 for Trans Lifeline
  • CALL: 800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • CALL: 911

Art & Healing

Fostering community through creative expression and story-sharing are central to the Foundation for Art & Healing mission. Our Filmmaker Connect Series is a prime example. Please be a part of this creativity for well-being work we champion by:

Engage in a Creative Activity

As the World Health Organization research has shown, and as discussed in Can Art Be Medicine. we know that the arts can be an integral part of improved health outcomes. Please make something with us through Creative Relief or one of the Art Project Ideas from our friends at the Gateway Foundation.

Host Your Own Screening

One of the best ways to activate the power of art and healing with others is through the strength and inspiration that good storytelling offers. This film resonates with us, and we want to share it with the world! You can help us do just that. Click this link for access to the film so that you can share it in your community. You’ll also find more info about the filmmaker, as well as a video that shines a light on some of the themes and ideas that drive the film.

Join Our Film Club

Sign up for our Film Club and get film picks from our fourth annual UnLonely Film Festival delivered to your inbox each Friday. You’ll also be among the first to hear about the launch of our fifth annual UnLonely Film Festival, kicking off June 6, 2021 at 8 PM ET!

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR, OTSUKA, AND PARTNERS, MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA & HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN.

The Foundation for Art & Healing