YOOF Media has today debuted the first look at Stepping Stone, a new short film starring Danny Dyer, which premieres on ITVX on 15 May 2023 as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The film was created by teenage filmmaker Noah Caplan, who wrote the film when he was 15 years old after experiencing a family tragedy. After enlisting British screen star Danny Dyer (“Eastenders”) to appear in the film, he went on to make the film at just 17 years of age.
The film centres on four very different characters from different walks of life, all falling on different points of the mental health spectrum. Some suffer from mental illness whilst others are just looking for support to protect their mental wellbeing. Each character’s journey to finding help begins with the first crucial step – reaching out and talking to someone.
Danny Dyer leads Stepping Stone’s powerful ensemble cast, which also includes Cush Berlyn (Trust), David ‘Sideman’ Whitely, Noah Caplan and Georgia Moncur.
Commenting on the venture, Danny said: “The power of this thing [the mind] is a mad old thing, so we’ve got to look after it.
Premiering at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, Stepping Stone plans to address and provide support for people going through mentally challenging times. Stepping Stone will also screen on MYM on 11th May.
Furthermore, it looks to normalise conversations regarding mental well-being within friendship groups as a prevention method for mental illness. This is a task which has proven even more necessary following The Guardian‘s recent discovery that the NHS has been unable to treat up to 250,000 children with mental health problems due to a huge surge in demand for care.
Director Noah Caplan formed a special connection to the world of mental health following his sister’s near-fatal car crash. Speaking about the film and his reasons for creating it he said, “It was an absolute honour to work on this film with Danny Dyer and this fantastic team. This is a passion project that I have been working on since my sister was involved in and survived a tragic accident and I saw the effect this had on me and everyone around me. I am so grateful that this experience led me to give back to the world, through the power of film.“
Eager for audiences to see his creation, Director Caplan said: “Mental health is something very close to my heart and I hope this film can help other people. As a family, mental health has always been an open discussion, and I want to help bring that conversation into many other households and friendship groups. With this film we hope to put the subject matter in the limelight, using familiar faces and extravagant storytelling. My goal is to make mental health an open discussion.”
Craig Morris, Managing Editor, ITVX, said: “We are really pleased to bring this very special short film to ITVX viewers in time for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.”
A special documentary called, Save Dom, will also be released via YOOF Media’s YouTube channel on May 10th. The documentary will also explore the making of the film and the reasons behind its creation and dives deeper into the film’s themes.
Stepping Stone will premiere on ITVX on 15th May.