The Here4YOUth Initiative of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded Wingspan Productions, Inc. a $25,000 grant from the Here4YOUth Mental Health Initiative. Wingspan Productions, Inc. is a nonprofit educational film company based in Sarasota, Florida that addresses vital issues of our time. The grant will fund various aspects of Wingspan’s year-round educational initiative, including community screenings, discussions, and talkbacks, partnerships with community organizations, social media, and resource materials to accompany the new film about mental health, Bridge to the Other Side.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been investing in innovative solutions to improve mental wellness in our region for years. “Reducing the stigma around asking for help and increasing social support is critical to improving mental health outcomes. We are thrilled to partner with a successful filmmaker like KT Curran to lift up the voices of young adults and first responders through a powerful feature-length film. We can’t wait to see Sarasota on the big screen working together to chart a healthy future for all,” said Jennifer Johnston, Director of Community Leadership at Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
“Since the pandemic, mental health concerns of children and families in this community have increased 200%,” said KT Curran, Executive Director of Wingspan Productions. “Bridge to the Other Side is a powerful story about first responders as they work to address the rising crisis of mental health. We are so grateful for this generous grant that will help us share not only the film, but valuable mental health resources locally, statewide, and around the world,” continued Curran.
Bridge to the Other Side, a powerful film about resilience, mental health, and finding strength in dark times, was created out of 150 interviews in the community with youth, parents, teachers, police officers, nurses, therapists, firefighters, and agency leaders. Filmed in Sarasota and Cape Coral, the movie features numerous professional and volunteer actors, and was created by a crew of 55 film professionals, interns, and volunteers. The film will have its international premiere in Toronto at Commffest Global Film Festival and its national premiere in Los Angeles at Lady Filmmaker's Film Festival in Beverly Hills. It will go on to screen nationally with Reel Recovery Film Festival, a national festival that focuses on mental health and addiction, and will premiere in Florida at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in November. Many local screenings are planned in Sarasota and across Florida in the coming months.