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We're delighted to announce that our Film of the Month winner for May 2017 is the powerful and very personal I Am Me, by Tallulah, an 18-year-old filmmaker from Paston Sixth Form College in Norfolk.
Engaging for those aged 14+, I Am Me is a creative, sensitively-shot and poetic film that delicately and powerfully explores issues surrounding mental health, and shines a light on the all-consuming nature of eating disorders.
I watched this film several times and found it more and more engaging. Tallulah's words have such a depth of honesty and are delivered in a way that really draws you in.Film of the Month judge on 'I Am Me'
I'm 18 and have just finished studying at Paston Sixth Form College. I've been wanting to make this film for a while - ever since I wrote the poem. I thought that with Mental Health Awareness Week in May, it was a good time to make it. But in terms of what inspired me, it was my time in hospital last summer, I suppose. Seeing so many people suffer from such mental illnesses made me want to spread awareness and challenge stigmas.
I think film is an incredibly powerful tool to connect with audiences, especially when it comes to issues such as mental health. This is why I wanted use my creative skills and insight into mental health to make something honest, emotional and powerful.
I've been making films since I was 15, although I've always been into creative things. In fact, I first started editing when I was about 10 - believe it or not, making videos of my favourite pop band at the time, Girls Aloud! Although my love for film in particular came from the media teacher I had for GCSE, and that's what inspired me to make my own films and continue studying media.
Personally, I love independent cinema and unusual films. My favourite director is Spike Jonze - I love his film Her and Being John Malkovich. I really love Amelie too - I have watched that countless times!
I'm a big fan of Into Film and the films they share, so it made sense to enter my own. It feels great to have won! I'm very happy.
My advice to those wanting to start making films is just go for it! Don't be afraid of things not turning out how you want - the only way you'll learn is by making mistakes and that's how your work will improve, believe me! You don't need expensive equipment either - anything that records video/audio and some imagination is all you need.
Tallulah's film will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, and she has also secured a £100 Amazon voucher plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help further develop their future films. If you've been inspired by May's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.
If you liked I Am Me, why not try these related films:
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Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May) the Mental Health Foundation's Richard Warden talks about how film can be used to encourage good mental health.
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A list of films that investigate body image and its impact on wellbeing.
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