We think all the videos we received (and our contestants) are the bomb, but a few stood out.
Dana Fletcher: Anatomy of a Breakdown
Dana: I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Depression, Panic Disorder & Generalised Anxiety Disorder. It took me being rushed to the emergency room, experiencing a lack of compassion, and reaching rock bottom to realise how much the world needed people to speak out against the demonisation & stigmatisation of Mental Health disorders... I believe visuals transcend languages and through a mini film, I'll be able to reach a much wider audience.
Team Videoblogs: Excellent work, Dana! We loved the sound, too. It really added to the intensity of the videoblog.
Samantha Heldman: Family Portrait Day
Samantha: This is an vlog adaptation of my little sisters story and struggle with anorexia and how it affected her and her loved ones. My dream and goal has been to make a video to properly share her powerful story and these 3 minutes hardly do her story justice. Hopefully through this contest I'll be able to make my dream a reality, for Andie and everyone else who struggles with an eating disorder.
Team Videoblogs: Girl, the struggle with perfectionism is REAL. Thank you so much forrealistically depicting something too many of us struggle with. What a way to honor your sister! Truly touching work, Samantha.
Brittany Winters: AwkwardlyAnxious
Brittany: I want to make a film about Social Anxiety Disorder because it is often something that's overlooked, and misdiagnosed. People that suffer from SAD usually don't seek treatment because of their disorder. If I get the chance to make this film I would hope that people suffering from SAD could benefit by not waiting as long as I did to get help. I want my film to bring hope and positivity to those suffering.
Team Videoblogs: What a thoughtful and honest video. Your willingness to be vulnerable is admirable. We really really relate <3
Cimone Watson- "Untitled Poem"
Cimone: My video says a lot about me. :) I want to tell you more, but I'd rather wait until you've seen the video. It's basically the main thing I have to say today.
Team Videoblogs: Cimone! What a stellar poem. We were seriously moved by your words and imagery. There are so many good parts but our favorite:
"...in secrecy the monster thrives, not in you now but in other lives. He only wins when you don't say a word so what you must do is make your voice heard."
ABSOLUTELY. Thank you for making your voice heard and for sharing your story with us.
Miara Warren, a.k.a Mimi
Mimi: I am an overcomer looking to help broaden the discussion on mental health by sharing my personal struggle and how I set myself free. :) with the world .
Team Videoblogs: Wow, Mimi. We are blown away by your resilience and insight. It's so hard to break the cycle of abuse, and we have so much respect for you when you say that you won't allow what you have been through to become who you are...
Thank you for your honesty and your bravery:*)
Hector Blanco (aka Maximo Andrews): Adam
Hector: I think mental health doesn't get as much attention as it should. I personally think it has a bad stigma on it, and other people do not understand it as well. I even have my personal battles with depression, but I get by each day. Back then it was hard for me, and I had to get help. I want others to get help too, and be more aware of their own mental health.
Team Videoblogs: Adam is such a great character! We love how you played the awkwardness of making a videoblog (oh, we get that). Awesome work!
Sarah Campbell (Actress) & Sonalee Joshi (Director): No Worries
Sonalee: With this video, we wanted to highlight the anxiety that lies just under the surface of the highly competitive college environment. We hope that other intelligent, and driven students and young adults facing anxiety will be able to connect with this video and feel less alone as a result.
Team Videoblogs: It's been a while since we were in college but that feeling definitely still lingers. I think a lot of people can relate to this video. Mission accomplished!
Katy Burke & Kristen Wilson
Kristen: This film was a collaborative project between Katy Burke and I (Kristen Wilson). It seems that we both have a similar fascination for mental illness. This fascination has become because of my own struggle with depression and mental illness in the past; in a way, that curiosity was inevitable. Creating work about mental health and illness is a form of self expression; it allows me to express the turmoil and pain that I experienced.
Team Videoblogs: We agree! This film is very much in line with our short, Multiverse, as it also explores isolation. Great work, you two (kudos also to the actor)!
Maiken P. Rais: The Secret Behind My Smile
Maiken: This movie is inspired by my best friend. We went to high school together and after that we lived together for 2 years where she was studying and the Danish version of college. But everything got to her so she developed stress and anxiety and had to drop out of college and move back to her parents...
Team Videoblogs: Maiken, we loved everything about this video: from the depth of the message to the pacing of your performance to even the way the camera is tilted ever so slightly. Also, we really related to that moment of disillusionment when you discover that life is not as you thought it was. Powerful stuff!
Brittany Rogers- "EDS: In Your Head?"
Brttany: I have struggled with a chronic pain condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) as well as with anxiety and depression my whole life, though I wasn't properly diagnosed until I was 21... EDS and it's comorbidities are poorly understood and it is very isolating.... I have chosen to take a forward role in the chronic illness community, running a support group, and I see that every other person who has a chronic illness struggles with anxiety and depression on some level... I made this video to speak up for every person who struggles every day to get up and fight this never ending battle.
Team Videoblogs: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Your perseverance and service to your community are extremely admirable. An incredible reminder to all that everyone's experiences and feelings are entirely VALID.