Men’s mental health is an issue that is hardly spoken about in social circles, much less portrayed in film and television. While mental health awareness in the media has risen, the primary protagonist in fictional depictions or news stories are women. That is not to say that the awareness for women’s mental health should take a backseat but that men’s stories should be covered just as often. In a Samaritans report from 2018, men were found to be three times as likely to die by suicide than women 1. Men are clearly suffering.
The stigma around this topic is shifting, thanks to mental health champions such as Ariyon Bakare, one of the lead actors in Worthily Films’ latest short, ‘Waiting for Time’. Bakare is an advocate for amplifying underrepresented voices. His charity, iC4RE2, brings about conversations on racial inequality, with other actors and actresses supporting the cause as well. His passion for this advocacy extends into his passion for the arts – Bakare chooses film and television roles that touch him personally, those that instantly resonate with him. His decision to take the role of ‘Heath’ in the Worthily Films’ short was not purely a professional one – it was also personal.
‘Waiting for Time’ delves into the pain and exaltation that love can bring, especially love that borders on infatuation and obsession. Heath meets Lily, played by Jade Harrison, at a pub and instantly falls in love. When she feels overwhelmed by the attention and dependency of Heath and leaves his life, Heath spirals downward into a dark hole, where the only respite is the memories of Lily that he keeps locked away in his mind.
The film uses innovative storytelling devices to bring the viewer into Heath’s mind, such as filming his memories through a pint glass, allowing us to see what he sees when he reminisces about when they were together. Shot on Super-16mm film, the film creates a visual experience that adds to the intensity of the storyline and acting. The viewers are intimately brought into this world with Heath.
But Heath is suffering on his own. He is left alone with his thoughts, and his solitary ruminations only serve to push him further into the abyss that he fell into following Lily’s departure. For someone else, the loss of a first love might be an event that is cause for writing a soppy love song or venting to their friends before moving back into the dating scene. For Heath, and many men like him, it exacerbated the mental health difficulties that were already present in his life. The film aims to show that depression and other issues can manifest in different ways and affect anyone. As a black actor, Bakare was keen to emphasise the importance of not only highlighting men’s mental health but black men’s mental health
About Worthily Films:
Worthily Films is an independent production company focusing on commercial and narrative production. Founded by Steve Dodsworth and Chelsea Leigh Macleod and based in London, Worthily Films creates imaginative work with high production value and character-driven plotlines.
Worthily Films caters to both large and small brands and is open to receiving short, full-length and TV pilot script submissions.
Connect with Worthily Films across various social media platforms for interviews, articles and the short film trailer for ‘Waiting for Time,’ which can be viewed here.