Award-Winning Short Sparks Conversation
Around Mental Health
“Two wildly talented young filmmakers,” Liz Levine, Random Bench Prod.
October 30, 2017, Vancouver - M&J's (Meeshelle Neal & Jax Smith) film MENTAL premiered at the 2017 International Covellite Film Festival in September, where it won the award for 'Achievement in Filmmaking, Best Short Form'.Directed by Jax Smith, MENTAL was written and produced by Meeshelle Neal, who also stars in the film. The duo received a BravoFact Award for the film as well. MENTAL has not only dramatically brought the subject of mental health to the screen, but has been a catalyst for candid discussion among audiences.
"A dark concept brought to life in a short film through magical visuals," ~ Nick Wangersky, Hollywood North Magazine
MENTAL tells the story of Alicia, who sees reality through a dreamlike lens of externalized psychotic episodes. Caught in a loop of depression and anxiety she uses prescription drugs to numb herself. Unable to discern what is real and what is imaginary, she finally gives into her inner voice’s advice and embraces her biggest fear. Sometimes the only way out is through.
All the film's interiors were shot at Beatty Street Studios in Vancouver, after the filmmakers lost their original location just two weeks before filming.
M&J write full-time on their own projects, and have shadowed showrunner Simon Barry (CONTINUUM, VAN HELSING) in the writing room as well as on set. They have also been mentored by Gillian Horvath (BEAUTY & THE BEAST, PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD) and have been hired to write features, shorts, and treatments. They have a TV series, HEARTMATTER, in development with Liz Levine at Random Bench Productions.
M&J consult with various writers, run Creative Services for Jeb Beach & Associates, and have had an active blog since 2016: http://www.jaxandmeesh.com
About Jax Smith
Jax Smith is half of Vancouver writing duo, M&J.
She is the creator of the TV series, DEFECT.
In 2016, Jax directed two short films, MENTAL (*BravoFACT recipient) and THE STAKEOUT. Previously she directed projects for First Star, World Wildlife Fund and The Projecting Change Film Festival. Her work has been showcased on CBS, The Knowledge Network, Urban Rush and featured in The Vancouver Sun and The Province. About Meeshelle Neal
Meeshelle Neal is half of the writing duo, M&J.
She is the creator of the genre sci-fi TV series, CONTROLLED MINDS.
Leo nominated, Meeshelle has enjoyed being a highly proactive member of the Vancouver Film and TV Community.
She wrote, produced, and starred in MENTAL (*BravoFACT recipient) as well as the award-winning, internationally recognized, short-film THERAPY. Therapy tackled mental health so well that it is now being taught in a curriculum in France and took home the 'Audience Choice Award' at the Festival Regards sur le Cinéma du Monde.
Directed by: Jax Smith
Executive Produced by: Liz Levine & Jax Smith
Produced by: Victoria Angell & Meeshelle Neal
Story by: Meeshelle Neal
Written by: Meeshelle Neal and Jax Smith
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