Anxious

Logline
A famous influencer lives a fabulous life on social media, whilst trying to hide her dark reality battling panic disorder and substance abuse throughout lockdown.

Synopsis
Lara is a famous social media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. She is rich, successful and lives alone in her posh London flat. She travels the world and goes to many parties. When lockdown hits, she spends a lot of time alone in her flat, where she has to face her demons. She is paranoid about the safety of herself and her parents. She doesn't have any desire to keep positive and lead a healthy lifestyle. She binge eats and she hates herself for it. Lara ignores most of her friends’ and fans' messages on social media, whilst being on her phone constantly. She receives a text from a guy she has been flirting with which pushes her over the edge.

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She blames herself for the death of her cat and abuses drugs and alcohol to combat her depression. She goes into a full-blown panic attack and is not able to ask for help from anyone.

Post-lockdown, Lara meets her friends for the first time in a café. Her friends are established, successful and beautiful influencers. Unlike Lara, they are not aware of mental health issues and they are not able to relate to her. A conversation about a mutual friend who was suicidal triggers Lara, therefore she decides to keep her dark reality to herself and does not confide in her friends.

Watch the Trailer

The Vision

The purpose of making Anxious is to shed light on Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. Everything can be faked by the use of social media, and this is very apparent in Lara's story.

We aim to create a window into the character's mind and the inner monologue by use of voice-over and sound effects. As we follow Lara in her flat, we are able to hear her thoughts and the speed of her heartbeat in the background, depending on what she's going through. We have made frequent use of social media to portray Lara’s obsession with her phone and the fake life she has created online. We have homemade videos from actors, cat influencers and an EFT video from a famous Youtuber called Brad Yates as the only sources of human contact Lara has throughout lockdown, to exasperate her loneliness.

The scenes in the flat are to reflect the global experience of most people who had to quarantine alone because of Covid 19. Not all had an anxiety diagnosis of course, but statistically speaking, people who developed anxiety throughout these difficult times have increased massively. We wanted to portray the feelings of loneliness, monotony, anxiety, paranoia and boredom of the whole world by using Lara’s story.

The Main Cast

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Yasmine Alice
as Lara

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Sarudzayi Marufu
as Lucy

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Joanna Zwierzynska
as Julia

Head of Production

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Producer/Writer
Yasmine Alice

Director
Laura Dorn

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Head of Post-production
İlker Savaşkurt

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Dop
Jana Kroslakova

What is the purpose of this film?

"This is a short film that is based on true events. I have written this script reliving personal experiences. I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder in 2017 followed by Panic Disorder in 2018. I want to shed light on what it feels like to live with this condition. I want to portray how social media can be faked and as glamorous as one can seem to live, we never truly know what people are going through internally and mentally.

I want to present the way in which my mind works, which usually is like a very fast nonstop train of anxious thoughts, and how tiring and unbearable it can be. I believe in the power of my strength and I’m proud of myself for coping and managing to do day-to-day activities through all the hardship this particular mental health problem brings. By allowing the audience to enter into my thoughts by the use of voiceover, I want to create a very personable, honest, and intimate window into my head, which will hopefully allow the watcher to grasp an understanding into our worlds within the mental health community. I feel the need to create a deeper awareness about mental health issues by making this film as candid as possible.” - Yasmine Alice

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Festival Run

  • WINNER! Best Actress in a Short Film - Istanbul Film Awards April Session

  • Official Selection - Lift-off Sessions with Pinewood Studios, the festival will be live on Vimeo On Demand: 17 - 24 May

  • WINNER! Best Actress Silver Award - Independent Shorts Awards, May 2021

  • WINNER! Best Actress in an Indie Film Award - Actors Awards 2021

  • Official Selection - OTB Film Awards 2021, Miami

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How did we film Anxious during lockdown?

Anxious was filmed during August 2020 when there was a lockdown in the UK and very strict Covid 19 measurements for filming. We have kept the number of crew members to a minimum, quarantined for a week and got tested twice before filming. Crew members wore masks at all times.

The power of diversity!

The majority of the cast and crew are female-identifying powerhouses. The producer/writer, dop, director, lead actresses and assistant producer are all women. Yasmine is a female-identifying POC immigrant who really values diversity on her film sets and has sought to hire a very diverse variety of people for her film. Our team consists of majority women who are British, Turkish, Kurdish, Brazilian, Jamaican, Swiss, Czech, Nigerian, Polish, German, Armenian, Romanian, Mexican and South African citizens!

Behind-the-scenes

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