Stand Still

Written by Zoë Tapper and Michelle Bonnard

The darkness of postnatal depression threatens to overwhelm Susannah, but a chance encounter with Rupa might be the help she needs.

Director’s Vision

One in five new mothers experience mental health issues in the first year after giving birth and we were inspired to tell this story from both an awareness-raising viewpoint, a need for continued conversations around the issues raised, and an opportunity for cinematic storytelling.
Having made many shorts before, each with a distinct cinematic style, with STAND STILL I wanted to find a way to portray someone experiencing a mental health crisis using a new cinematic language. I wanted to explore the quietness and frightening reality of the fragility of our mental health, not with the often-used shaky in-and-out of focus hand held camera work, but allowing the audience to sit with our characters in their pain in wider shots, feel complicit in their isolation and suffering, and with Ashley Barron ACS, we relished the opportunity to try out new things and challenge our audiences to lean in, focus, and not spoon feed them an easy experience of what is such an incredibly difficult journey that many new parents go through. With our framing and the use of light and shadows, we wanted to communicate the incomprehensibility of depression; the otherness one feels experiencing it, but also the inevitable otherness or distance one feels seeing a person suffering from postnatal depression and visually dramatising that chasm.

We are proud to have worked with partners in the maternal mental health sector to bring this film to life and carry on the vital conversation about maternal mental health: Mums Aid, Acacia, One Fit Mama