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Norwich filmmaker creates poignant video detailing body image struggles

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah Self

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah Self

Tallulah Self

A Norwich filmmaker who suffered with anorexia has used her experience to create a powerful video for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah SelfFilmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah Self

Tallulah Self, 20, grew up on Grove Road, Norwich, and went to Hellesdon High School and Paston College.

She was hospitalised for six months with anorexia in 2016 and last year produced a film in response to Public Health England's Change4Life animated cartoon promoting healthier snacks for youngsters and encourages parents to look for "100 calorie snacks".

Now, she is working as a junior filmmaker for London-based Inside Job Productions, after she enrolled in the company's production trainee scheme for young people struggling with their mental health.

MORE: Norwich teenager turns her brave poem about her eating disorder into short film

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah SelfFilmmaker Tallulah Self. Photo: Tallulah Self

She was the first person to go through the scheme, and said it had increased her confidence and allowed her to grow.

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"It's really tough to get into the media and film industry," she said. "I had a tough time at college, I didn't really finish it, so I wasn't in a position to go into a standard job or through uni."

But the challenges she has faced made her stand out, and has drawn on her own experience to create HOME, a short film featuring mental health influencer and ballet dancer, Margi Barbieri.

Miss Self said: "Mental health can feel really difficult to speak out about and that's why I wanted to create a film which not only expresses my own experiences, but also includes the voice of others. I think collaboration is key with creativity, especially in the context of mental health, where isolation can be a big issue. I hope the film can raise awareness, shed light on issues surrounding body image and make others feel they aren't alone."

MORE: Mental health concerns raised over new Change4Life sugar awareness snack video

The experiences of more than 70 people, contributed through Instagram, were behind the film, which was shot, directed and edited by Miss Self.

Encouraged by a recent study from Nottingham University which found that personal stories of mental illness can help others on the road to recovery - Miss Self uses film as a platform to share her experiences and lessen the stigma around mental health.

She said: "I've been using film as a way of expressing myself and it's something I'm really passionate about. I think because film is different to reading it's engaging in a different way, and you can really portray emotions."

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