Eating Disorders

Stars align to take part in new film aiming to raise awareness of eating disorders

20 years after her daughter Samantha was diagnosed with an eating disorder & OCD, film-maker & author Lynn Crilly announces a major new project to highlight an issue she fears is getting worse.

A string of star actors are coming together to appear in a new short film aiming to help raise awareness of eating disorders.

A Day With An Eating Disorder is being produced by film-maker Lynn Crilly, an author and counsellor who specialises in supporting those living with conditions including anorexia and bulimia.

The film will star This Country actor Paul Cooper who has grappled with emotional eating for many years; actress and reality TV star Jess Impiazzi, who has spoken openly about her battles with mental ill health and the former Hollyoaks actress and Celebrity Fit Club star Mikyla Dodd.

All have selflessly offered their time for free to help raise awareness.

The film comes 20 years after Lynn’s daughter Samantha was diagnosed with an eating disorder and OCD.

Two-decades on, Lynn, the author of Hope With Eating Disorders, says the film is desperately needed to provide a voice to those suffering and their carers

Lynn said: “In the 20 years since Samantha was diagnosed I’m sad to say eating disorders have only become a bigger and more dangerous issue across society. Young people are affected the most, but earring disorders can and do  impact anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality

“Waiting lists in some areas for support are now dangerously long, and those living with conditions often face delays of more than a year just to be referred to a specialist. The impact this has on them and their families can and is devastating.  I want to use this film to try and shine a light on this issue and to drive change.”

Producer Lynn has worked closely with her daughter Samantha, an actress, poet and writer, on the film. The pair are both ambassadors for Sane, and this is the third film Lynn has produced and follows award-winning products on OCD and anxiety, which are topics she also specialises in treating.

Samantha, who is one of the co-writers of A Day With An Eating Disorder, said: “Having suffered from mental illness most of my life I often find people saying: ‘Oh sorry you have been through such a rough ride’, when in fact what I answer with is ‘I am one of the lucky ones, who had unconditional support, love and understanding.

“The ones I feel remorse for are those who don’t have the help and backup that I’ve always had’. So, this film is very important to me as it gives back to the mental health world a vital tool in educating people.”

The film – which is satirical but equally empathetic, has been co-written by Samantha, the actress and production manager, Lillie Bailey, and TV presenter and Film Director Marvin Ambrosius.

Also appearing in the film will be radio presenter Neil Long and his fellow airwaves partner Nicky Patrick. Yanick Ghanty, from Channel Four’s Hullraisers,  who was at school with Samantha is also appearing.

Poignantly, Samantha’s twin-sister Charlotte who has closely supported her over the past 20 years will also appear in the film.

 

Why we’re taking part: 

 

The film is based on real-life experiences and shows a snapshot of  the reality of living with an eating disorder.

All those taking part in the film have either suffered with an eating disorder  themselves, have lived experience of one or have battled mental ill health during a period in their lives.  Here – in their own words – they describe why they were inspired to appear in A Day With An Eating DIsorder:

 

Jess Impiazzi Actress – ‘So many young people suffer with eating disorders and the rise of social media filters is causing more self esteem issues than ever, being part of this short film is important to highlight eating disorders. And hopefully help people suffering to find support and for families to help understand’

 

Paul Cooper: Actor – “All my adult life I have struggled with emotional eating so being a part of this film which will raise awareness and further help people with eating disorders is very special to me.”

Mikyla Dodd: Actress – “Raising awareness of the reality that people with mental health issues face every day is something I am passionate about. Bringing this to life, showing the human face of what is happening in so many homes and families is essential and can make something that is often misunderstood, relatable to help create a more inclusive society. It is a privilege to contribute in even the smallest way.”

Neil Long: Radio presenter and actor – “Mental health is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but it is encouraging to see more and more of this important conversation happening.  I believe good mental health is ultimately available to all of us, and being part of this project is a privilege, And of course I love a bit of acting.”

 

Yanick Ghanty: Actor – “‘As a creative I believe in the power of storytelling to create positive change and provide hope to those who maybe struggling. I am thrilled to be participating in this short film, knowing that it aims to support individuals dealing with mental health challenges. Being part of a project that sheds light on such an important issue is truly meaningful to me.”

 

Nicky Patrick: Voiceover Artist, Actress and Radio Presenter – “The fact that Samantha has experience and worked through an eating disorder and challenges OCD on a daily basis makes her an incredible ambassador and role model on how not to let mental health issues prevent you from achieving your goals while also providing support in a very sensitive and entertaining way’.

Marvin Ambrosius: Film Director TV Presenter and Fitness Guru – This project is profoundly personal to me. Having worked in the fitness industry for many years, I have encountered numerous individuals whose struggles mirror the characters in this film, including my own battle with being overweight.

Lillie Bailey: Production Manager, Writer, and Actress –  “I am so honoured to have been a part of the team from the very beginning. Raising awareness of the challenges and importance of mental health is something I feel very strongly about.”