Stigma still remains around mental health in today’s society, and it’s even larger within the African-American community where conversations surrounding anxiety and depression are often swept under the rug. Tackling this issue head-on is director Rochée Jeffrey, who pulls back the curtain on how mental health impacts people of color in her short film Mr. Talented.
Based on a true story, Mr. Talented stars J. Mallory McCree (The Defenders, Homeland, Quantico) as the titular character, a struggling artist who works tooth and nail to reach the apex of the art world, while also battling the external demons of racism and the internal demons of self-acceptance and validation. These issues collide and coalesce when Mr. Talented aims to have his photography featured at the prestigious Baldner Gallery only to have the head curator reject his work.
With Mental Health Awareness Month being observed in May, more films and television shows would be an appropriate vehicle to cultivate empathy and understanding for black men who experience issues with their mental health. A film like Mr. Talented is here to unpack and destigmatize the conversations surrounding mental health in the black community.
The film, which also features Tony Award-winning actress Tonya Pinkins, is set to hit the film circuit this summer.
Watch the trailer for Mr. Talented below.