Having joined youth theatres and productions from a young age, I trained in both stage and screen. I made my screen debut as lead character Lina in New York Director Adam Llamas' horror 'In Front of You' and my stage debut at local theatres as well as the West End. I trained with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
I’m also a voice-over actor, having narrated books for Audible/Amazon and having voiced a key character in a new American series. I have recently been called a 'Rising Young Acting Talent' by David Duprey of That Moment In and 'one of those "up-and-comers" to watch circumspectly' by Entertainment Writer Ruth Hill. Faulty Roots is the first time that I am going to work as a producer on a film, and I’d love to get to help share many more stories in the future.
I wanted to make a film on depression in teens and to raise awareness for mental health problems. This is because they affect so many teens and there is a lot more that can be done to help with this.
I've personally faced mental health problems and I think it’s rare that as teens we won’t have already faced them, be currently facing them or won’t do in the future. A lot of people still find it difficult to reach out and ask for help with any problems that they might be facing and so I wanted to demonstrate with the film what this may be like and to represent some of the struggles faced. This is why I decided to write the script, so that it would come from a teenager’s perspective.
I have worked as an actor for many years and wanted to help portray the story which is why I will be taking on the character of Lola.
The story follows Lola, a young girl with depression, and the friendship that she is forced to form with Zack. The two teens each have genetic conditions which affect their lives in different ways. The film will focus on the relationship built and the struggles faced, as well as how important is to talk to others.
To take on the character of Zack, we have the brilliant young actor Sani Thabo. I first saw Sani in the short film ‘Third Wheeling’ where he gave an amazing performance. From his audition, I knew that he could bring the same comedic talent and brightness that I had seen to the film. Sani has performed at the Brighton fringe festival and the New Theatre Royal. He has been in the short films Third Wheeling, Transteen and Listen.
Zack and Lola’s friendship is an important feature in the film. It demonstrates the importance of sharing pain and hurt as well as joy and happiness.
I also wanted to demonstrate the affect that a mental illness can have on the relationship between a parent and their teen and so this is why the character of Susan, Lola’s mother, is so important to the story. Susan will be played by the wonderful actress Sarah Eastwood.
I first worked with Sarah on the film In Front of You where she played my mother. We immediately got on and I learnt so much from her. Sarah has worked on over 40 projects, all predominately film & TV, including ITV, SKY & Amazon Prime productions. She starred in the award winning film ‘A Pinprick of Light’ that screened at Cannes Film Festival.
Sarah is also the founder of Visutap which offers Guided Audio Meditations.
We have an extremely talented Director of Photography on board, Ash Lang Wen Li. Ash grew up in Hong Kong, before pursuing a Film and Politics double major at Wesleyan University (Connecticut, USA), where she received the Freeman Asian Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship that covered 4 years of undergraduate tuition. She has a strong narrative background, and has worked with cinematographers whose work has been recognized by the Oscars, the Emmys and the BAFTAs. I absolutely love Ash's work and I know that she is the right DoP to bring my vision to life.
I’m hoping that the film will help to represent what it is like to suffer from depression as a teen and that it will raise awareness of the issue. I want it to both inform and entertain people. I’m going to submit it to as many film festivals as I can to try and share the story with as wide an audience as possible.
We have launched an Indiegogo campaign for the film and I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible to get the story told and to get it told well.
So many people have already helped to support the film and I am so thankful for that. We also have the wonderful Ruth DesRoches on board as an Associate Producer and Brent N. Hunter on board as a co-producer. I would love for more people to get involved with the film and I’d be happy for people to contact me if they would like to know more about Faulty Roots or ways that they can help.
Rehearsals for the film start this month and then we begin shooting it during the start of December. The film will be completed by spring next year where we will be having a screening of it and will be submitting it to film festivals.
I am so excited to start the production of the film and to begin working with the cast and crew.
Please also check out the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo: