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Congratulations to Freya, aged 17, from Finham Park Sixth Form in Coventry, whose film Driven to Despair has won Best Film 16-19 (sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery) at the 2022 Into Film Awards. The award was presented by actors Sheyi Cole and Lola Petticrew.
In Driven to Despair, a teenager with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) works hard to stick to situations she can control, but finds herself thrown when she misses her bus stop, and must find a way to cope with the rising panic and stay calm.
It's a film that does an incredible job of conveying the anxiety that can be caused by OCD, and delivers a memorable depiction of the way a seemingly everyday inconvenience can be debilitating to those with mental health issues. That a young filmmaker has managed to create something so visceral is extremely impressive.
I'm so proud of what I produced with this film: it was really personal to me. I hope that someone might watch this film and feel a bit less alone knowing that there are other people out there who deal with OCD.Freya, Into Film Award winning filmmaker of 'Driven to Despair'
"For this film, I was inspired by my own struggles with OCD and anxiety", explains Freya. "OCD - like all mental health issues - carries a lot of stigma around it, and people have pre-conceived notions of what it is. I wanted to show a journey with OCD and its compulsions as authentically as I could. I also wanted to portray how debilitating OCD can be, as it impacts simple elements of life that many take for granted, like taking a bus journey. I hope this film sheds some light on people's experience with these issues."
"One in for of us will deal with a mental health issue in our lifetime, and everyone knows someone that suffers with their mental health, so this film can be relevant for anyone."
Film is so powerful, it can entertain people, make them laugh, cry, and feel every emotion out there. It can make people feel accepted in who they are, give them something to relate to and make them feel less alone.Freya, Into Film Award winning filmmaker of 'Driven to Despair'
To make her film in the way she wanted, Freya had to actively seek out permission to film on a National Express bus, and persevered even when this proved to be a lengthy process. "I knew it would be the perfect setting for this film. Once permission was granted and everything was organised for shooting, we filmed for 2 days on the bus. I severely underestimated how difficult it is to film on something moving like a bus, especially with the actor dealing with travel sickness, but I'm really proud of how it turned out!"
Aside from producing her award-winning film, it's clear that Freya believes in the power of film as much as we do. "Film is so powerful, it can entertain people, make them laugh, cry, and feel every emotion out there. It can make people feel accepted in who they are, give them something to relate to and make them feel less alone. Filmmaking is also a fundamental medium for education, vital in showing different perspectives on the world and opening people's minds to new ideas." We couldn't have outlined the Into Film ethos better ourselves!
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