DEGANZ member Rafa Yam is passionate about helping raise awareness on Aotearoa’s youth suicide rate, one of the highest in the world, through his short film, For Thom. While he and his team acknowledge the topic can be confronting, the short is ultimately about hope with light at the end of the tunnel.
“I want to make this film so others don’t have to resort to what my friends did, and so no one has to feel the grief and guilt I felt for not being there for them sooner,” writes Rafa. “This film is about the value of checking up on the people you love most in this world and how no one is every truly alone.”
The young writer/director originally from the Philippines is currently crowdfunding for post production on Kickstarter. While budget is a challenge, Rafa has a great team surrounding him. This includes the likes of Catherine Fitzgerald (Executive Producer), Prashanth Gunasekaran (Producer), Kelly Chen (DOP) and fellow DEGANZ member Guillaume Arnoulet (Editor). The funds raised will allow them to collaborate and develop an ongoing relationship with post house POW Studios in Wellington.
For Thom is about a lonely teenage girl who tries reconnecting with her best friend in an attempt to repair her fragile mental state. This is the second short film Rafa is working on based on a feature script that he hopes to make one day. His first short film, Last Call, was a 5-minute winning entry for The Someday Challenge.
The team is filming from September 30 to October 2. Their Kickstarter campaign runs until October 16.