The subjects of mental health and homosexuality are tackled head-on in a new short film.
The Colonel's Outing follows the story of an elderly man living in a resthome who is unhappy with his life until a fellow war veteran arrives. The pair find happiness together.
The film's world premiere is in Miami this month.
It's a collaboration between Henderson writer/director Christopher Banks and Mt Wellington film producer Andy Jalfon.
The film was funded mainly by the Mental Health Foundation's depression awareness campaign Out of the Blue.
Chief executive Judi Clements says the film was chosen because it illustrates the need for people to be true to their cultural and sexual identity.
"The negative effects of being marginalised, discriminated against or being forced into secrecy on an individual's wellbeing and mental health are profound," she says.
The film was shot in Auckland over three days in October last year.
"We've become really good at shooting a lot in a day," Mr Jalfon says.
The filmmaking pair have known each other for five years. They met soon after Mr Jalfon moved from London to New Zealand to pursue a career in film.
The Colonel's Outing almost didn't happen as they struggled to find funding before the Mental Health Foundation came on board.
The subject matter is close to Mr Banks' heart because he has bipolar disorder.
While depression is not mentioned explicitly in the film, Mr Banks says all three of the main characters have internal struggles they need to work through.
They say the film is not just a gay love story – it sends a message of hope to all who watch it, especially the elderly.
"There's this stigma attached to being old and there needn't be," Mr Banks says.
"Just because you're old it doesn't mean your life's over.
"There's so much out there to enjoy," Mr Banks says.
One in 10 Kiwi men experience depression in their lifetime. Visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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