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Ken Burns Executive Produced Film On Youth Mental Health In America Seeks Audio Submissions To Be Included In The Broadcast

Hiding In Plain Sight: Our Mental Health Crisis (wt) 

Film Part of National Mental Health Awareness ​Campaign, Well Beings

Washington, D.C. — December 7, 2020 — WETA Washington, D.C., the ​flagship public media station in the nation’s capital, today joined the filmmakers Chris and Erik Ewers, ​of Ewers Brothers Productions, to announce a national call for audio submissions to be included in the upcoming film executive produced by Ken Burns, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: OUR MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS (wt).  The film is part of a national awareness campaign about health called Well Beings, with a focus on youth mental health through the Youth Mental Health Project.   

Well Beings is working to demystify and destigmatize health through storytelling, featuring a series of documentaries beginning with HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT (wt)anticipated to premiere on PBS in ​Spring 2022.  The series will serve as a central part of a multi-year campaign to include feature-length documentary films, short form content, user-generated storytelling, a digital and social media campaign, and educational curriculum created by WETA, with support from a broad coalition of partners, to address the health crisis in America. 

Hiding in Plain Sight (wt), a two-part, four-hour film, will illuminate the ways in which people are struggling with their own mental health. Through first-person accounts, the film will present an unvarnished window into the issues associated with mental health challenges ​from seemingly insurmountable obstacles ​to stories of hope and resilience for those who face it daily. The film will confront the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, help advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.

Well Beings has issued a call for young people to submit their stories for consideration to be included in the film. The filmmakers are seeking audio recordings of young people by themselves or in conversation with family and friends ​discussing their own mental health journey and experience in everyday life. These clips can be anonymously submitted. Audio submissions are preferred, but video submissions will also be accepted. 

In their audio submissions, users can answer prompts on the subject of mental health, including but not limited to: What does it feel like? How do you cope with your challenges? Are there any specific moments that may have contributed to your mental health challenges? How do you feel around other people? Who/what makes you feel supported? 

“We have traveled the country to hear the stories of young people courageously tackling a wide-range of mental health issues,” said the filmmakers, the brothers Chris and Erik Ewers.  “We’ve come to appreciate that there’s a chorus of activity across the country, with young people engaging one another, sharing best practices and truly opening up about issues that for too long have been stigmatized and suppressed.  We’re hopeful that this call for submissions will result in more young people sharing their stories, something we believe will help other people and also help us as filmmakers better capture what is taking place throughout the country.

Multiple submissions will be accepted, and each submission should be three minutes maximum for consideration. Submissions may be featured in the documentary series or on WellBeings.org. Submissions can be made here.

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