YOOF Media has shared a first look at Stepping Stone, a new short film starring Danny Dyer, which will premiere on ITVX as part of Mental Health Awareness Week on May 15th 2023.
Stepping Stone was created by teenage filmmaker Noah Caplan, who wrote the film at fifteen following a family tragedy. After securing UK acting legend Danny Dyer (Eastenders) to star, he made the film at just seventeen years old.
The film follows four characters, each from a different walk of life at various points on the spectrum of mental health. Some suffer from mental illness, and others are just looking for support in protecting their mental wellness. Each character’s journey to seek help starts with the first all-important, pivotal step – speaking to someone.
Danny Dyer heads up Stepping Stone’s exciting ensemble cast, which also stars Cush Berlyn (Trust), David ‘Sideman’ Whitely, Noah Caplan and Georgia Moncur. Speaking about the project, 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 will also screen on MYM: Million Youth Media on May 11th. The film aims to address and provide support to people going through challenging times, and its message has never been more important as mental health services face growing pressures.
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.”
Noah continued, “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 explore the making of the film and the reasons behind its creation and dive deeper into the film’s themes.