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Ella Greenwood, Filmmaker

At only 18 years old, Ella Greenwood wrote, directed, and produced short film Faulty Roots about a teenager living with depression. mindyourmind volunteer, Lauren, had a chance to ask Ella some questions:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 19-year-old actor and filmmaker from London, England. I absolutely love anything to do with film and I'm the director of Broken Flames Productions which is focusing on a slate of mental health based projects. I’m also a mental health advocate and ambassador for teenage mental health charity stem4.

Why is raising awareness for mental health so important to you?

It’s so important to me as it is still largely stigmatised and unrepresented. When I first started struggling with my mental health, I didn’t understand what I was going through and if it had been spoken about more, then it would have been a lot easier for me, and so I hope that with the work I do, I can make it that slight bit easier for other people.

Can you tell us more about your journey into the film industry and how you knew you wanted to go down this path?

I’ve always wanted to act, and went to drama classes from a young age then signed with an agent. When I turned 18, I decided that I wanted to explore a new part of the industry and so started making films. I knew I wanted to go down the path of working in the industry as films have been such a huge part of my life. I would always be so mesmerised anytime I went to the cinema and it was my absolute favourite thing to do. I loved the escapism of it all, and the way I felt like I was in a new world for those few hours. Films are an incredible thing, truly an art form.

What was the inspiration or how did you come up with the concept for your film Faulty Roots?

I wanted to tell a story about something I was passionate about and had experience with, and so wrote about a teenage girl with depression. I wanted to explore the way her depression wasn’t caused by anything in particular such as something that had happened in her life, and so to explore the fact that it was down to her ‘roots’ in a way. I also wanted to create a friendship between two characters and to focus on the relationship between them to show how important it is to support each other.

What is one message that you hope viewers take away after watching Faulty roots?

I hope they take away the fact that there are people out there who are going through the same things as them, and that talking about it can make such a huge difference. I also wanted to demonstrate the way that people can sometimes be insensitive to someone with a mental illness and so hope I’ve raised awareness of that. 

Are you currently working on any new creative pieces?

Yes I am! I’m working on a new short film ‘Self-charm’ which we will be shooting next month. It will focus on a character who is struggling with self-harm, but I don’t want it to be triggering at all and will use the film to show alternatives and ways to get help. I’m also working on the feature version of Faulty Roots. I’ve learnt so much already from the process of developing a short into a feature and I really can’t wait to be able to share more news about the project soon!

Do you hope to promote awareness for mental health in future films, or will you be branching out to new genres?

I want to focus on mental health based projects for the time being, and have so many ideas on ways to promote awareness with future films. There are so many stories to tell and so much more to say on the topic and so I’m really looking forward to the future!

Click the links below for Ella’s socials:

Instagram: popsella

Twitter: ella_greenwood

Photography by Ella Greenwood