Film As A Life-Saving Tool During A Pandemic


What do you do when the world shuts down and your entire film program format is based on the big screen, in school auditoriums, corporate screening rooms, community centers and private theatres?

In theory, you have choices. You can go into pre-production mode for your next film. You can overhaul your entire successful format and adapt to an online-community screening format. Or you can hang up the “Gone Fishin’ ” sign and take a much needed break.

But the truth is, we didn’t have a choice. When you are in the business of sparking conversations & opening up dialogue on hard topics that address mental health issues — and you’ve received letters from parents and students claiming the lifesaving properties of your films, you can’t wander off. Especially when you are facing an unprecedented global existence filled with anxiety, isolation and uncertainty.

Our thoughts were validated. In mid-May, the United Nations (U.N.) and World Health Organization (W.H.O.) released a briefing that mental health has to be one of the core elements to the recovery & response to the pandemic. And those solutions must be accessible and affordable. No learning curve there — that has been IndieFlix’s mission from day one.

Without providing too many painstaking details, our entire team worked through the night for several weeks, experimenting with different platforms and streaming delivery methods to help the greatest number of people while protecting the integrity of our original documentary programs. Unfortunately, we have the under-eye bags and grey hairs to prove it.

But we delivered. And we aren’t just surviving, we are thriving. Here are some of the highlights since the pandemic hit:

  • Five Fortune 500 companies added our entire IndieFlix Mental Health Trilogy to their mental wellness programs during the stay-at-home order to benefit their employees & their families
  • Entire school districts on both coasts screened “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” at the onset of the pandemic to give their students strategies to manage the stress and panic they were feeling
  • Our film “LIKE”, which examines the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on our brains, was selected by schools around the globe for their students’ social & emotional learning lessons and featured at the NASW, National Association of Social Workers conference.
  • We grew our sales team by 50% during the pandemic to service our clients
  • Anticipating the mental health needs of their congregants during this time, the largest conservative synagogue in the United States brought the trilogy to their congregants, offering a film a week for weeks
  • We partnered with the experts at Child Mind Institute and Center for Humane Technology to film COVID-19 specific pre-interviews to address current concerns for families in quarantine.
  • We partnered with a non-profit and hosted a live webinar screening event, followed by a mixed expert & celebrity advocate panel featuring actress Shailene Woodley & supermodel Cara Delevigne
  • We moved our film premier of “Nevertheless” online, and hosted a moderated panel with Director Sarah Moshman, NY State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Former Federal Prosecutor and Candidate for District Attorney in NY Mimi Rocah, & One Fair Wage Founder Saru Jayaraman.
  • We have set up partnerships and screening dates with national & international organizations that focus on cyberbullying for our Fall release of “The Upstanders”, the 3rdinstallment in the IndieFlix Mental Health Trilogy
  • We introduced The Creative Coping Toolkit,our book to gamify sharing feelings, to several mental health organizations (6-months ahead of schedule)

Scilla Andreen is the CEO/Co-Founder/ Executive Producer/Director of IndieFlix and has received multiple letters of gratitude from both parents & kids for saving their lives from the films. This Warner Bros. & Sony veteran has been recognized by Screening International’s Women To Watch and Variety’s Women’s Impact Report and is a popular speaker at Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, Women in Film and Mental Health Summits.