Interview with Abbie Jackson, Writer and Co-Director of Recovery
We chat to Abbie Jackson, the mind behind powerful upcoming short film Recovery, which aims to raise awareness of, and tackle the stigma around, eating disorders.
Why was this an important film to make?
I wanted to make this film to help raise awareness of eating disorders, and the reality of recovery. I haven't seen a film before that focuses on the recovery aspect of eating disorders, whilst also not being triggering to anyone suffering.
I felt it was important to make something that portrayed eating disorders in a different light to how we normally see them - truthful, but not unnecessarily triggering.
Eating disorders are still massively misunderstood in the media and in the filmmaking scene in particular. Why do you think that is and how are you hoping this film will help to tackle these problems?
I think when we see eating disorders in films, there isn't enough research done, and not enough input from people who have first hand experience with eating disorders. I myself am in recovery from anorexia, and other people involved in the film also are in recovery from eating disorders, or have experience with mental illness.
I think it's really important when tackling subjects like this to have lots of input from people who have personal experience of the issues, which is what we've done with this film.
There is still a lot of stigma around eating disorders and mental health more generally in society. How important is it to talk about these issues in an open and honest way?
It's so important! I think it's necessary to talk about these things as openly as possible, to help remove the stigma. It can be really difficult to get help, but there are some brilliant charities in the UK such as BEAT, MIND, and SEED that can help.
How was the process of making this film? Were there any difficult moments, or were you driven by your need to get your message out there?
We made it during COVID, so there were definitely difficulties that came up! Everyone involved is so passionate about the project and the message, so we managed to work through any issues quite easily.
We filmed and rehearsed over video call which had lots of pros and cons in comparison to shooting in person. The script also covers some sensitive subjects, so we made sure everyone was comfortable with all the topics raised.
What are your future plans for the film and for yourself?
We're hoping to submit the film to film festivals once we are done with post-production, and then have it available to view online! I'd also love to make a sort-of sequel to Recovery, which I'm currently in the process of writing and planning. I'm also off to drama school in September so I'm excited for that!