03 May 2023
Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing the journey of our new Rethink Mental Illness partnership. Charly Flyte, our new production trainee, alongside participatory filmmaker Jack Mead, will be creating short form film content focused on mental health for the national charity’s new TikTok channel. The idea is that by creating high quality film that engages people on the very devices they use, their phones, the films will provide resources, support and advice that will be supportive and inspiring.
We caught up with Charly to find out more about them and what they are most excited about.
What’s your experience in film?
I started out in the film industry as an actor, graduating from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. My first experiences of being on set was playing a kidnapped teenager in a zombie horror film. Then, after a few years, I became disillusioned with the scripts I was receiving and wanted to tell my own stories. I started a small, independent production company called Candy Talk Films and I’m still making work under this company today. We make films that raise questions about contemporary society and explore themes of technology, sexuality, gender and mental health that confront audiences and shift perspectives.
What excites you about film?
I see film as a hugely creative space where I can exercise different parts of myself. Film is like a collage, comprised of so many unique processes that come together to move an audience. There are countless exciting collaborations that happen in film between different departments and it relies on presence and human connection. It invites us to connect with each other and come together to tell a story. It’s precise and captures a moment in time. So much excites me about film but I think the possibility to create change is what I find most meaningful. Film as an active ingredient for making the world a better place in some way.
What is it about this Rethink Mental Illness partnership that is so powerful?
The partnership with Rethink Mental Illness is so powerful because its bringing mental health issues to the forefront of people’s minds. It’s giving an online space to people who have ongoing mental health experiences, creating community and providing educational and entertaining content for the people directly affected by these issues. Rethink Mental Illness is an incredible charity that acts as a powerful resource for people and their families to understand more about different conditions whilst also actively campaigning for equality for people with mental illnesses. To spread their message far and wide is politically important and powerful.
What is the role of social media in helping people with mental health?
Social media is an excellent resource for helping people with their mental health. It’s accessible and easy to use even if you’re not feeling well. It’s an instant way to find connection with others and feel a sense of community which can be really hard when you’re having difficult experiences. Often if my mental health isn’t doing so well, I can isolate myself from others. Social media is a great way to reconnect with the outside world. Also, there are useful tips on what to do in different situations and uplifting content that can lift your mood. It’s a great way of seeing that you’re not alone in what you’re going through and that many people have experienced similar things.
What are your hopes for the project?
My hope for the project is to create entertaining and educational content that is creative and engaging for people with mental health concerns. I want to centre the people whose stories we are telling and for them to feel happier for sharing their stories. I want to create a community online for people with mental health difficulties where they can feel seen and heard and be a part of the project. My hope is this becomes a space where people feel empowered through their vulnerability and can be a resource for improving people’s everyday lives.
What are three fun facts about you – one professional, one personal, one wildcard?
- I recently directed a short film about mental health called The Clouds After a Storm. It’s set in a psychiatric hospital on Christmas Day.
- I live with bipolar disorder.
- My grandmother was friends with Freddie Mercury before he was famous. He owes her six pounds.
It’s all part of our social impact to create great films with a purpose.