Although Mei has kept her depression a secret from her conservative mother, she has always tried to meet her mother’s expectations. However, after overhearing her on the phone, Mei has to choose whether to open up or keep her struggles behind closed doors.

  • Leanne Bailham
    Left Behind
  • Leanne Bailham
    Left Behind
  • Barbara Vonau
    The Text Kit
  • Cat Watson
    Dance of the Porcelain Demons
  • Leanne Bailham
    Left Behind
  • Ufuk Gokkaya
    Director of Photography
  • Priscila Carvalho Vailones
    Production Designer
  • Mia Foo
    Key Cast
    Eastenders (BBC), Doctors (BBC)
  • Michelle Wen Lee
    Key Cast
    Rogue Trader, Hummingbird, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
  • Quynh Nguyen Dieu
    Killing Eve, The Crown, Belfast
  • Nicola T. Chang
    Seafruit, A Dose of Happiness
  • Zoltán Kadnár
    Sound Desginer
    Left Behind
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Mental Health, Coming of Age
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 24, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Raindance Film School
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 5, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection - Raindance Film School MA Student Showcase
  • Indie Shorts Mag's Short of the Year Awards 2022

    Audience Choice Award
Director Biography - Leanne Bailham

Leanne Bailham (Director/Co-Writer/Producer) is a British born short film director of mixed-race heritage. At the age of 18-years-old, her experimental horror short film 'A Test of Fears' (2016) was featured as part of the British Royal Academy of Arts A Level Summer Online Exhibition.

In 2019, she directed the short film Left Behind (2019) which was officially selected in Trí Rivers Film Festival, Vegas Cinefest International Film Festival and Hollywood South Urban Film Festival. The film also received honourable mentions at Florence Film Awards and New York Movie Awards for Best Student Film and Best Short Film Director respectively.

She has recently completed her MA in Filmmaking with Raindance Film School (validated by De Montfort University) with 'Mei' as her Master's project.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The inspiration for ‘Mei’ originated from my personal experience shortly after being diagnosed with depression and social anxiety at 18-years-old. I was at the stage of my life where I had to think about my future, feeling this immense pressure to make a decision that would make my family happy even though I struggled to find happiness in myself.

’Mei’ represents the subjective and isolating experience of depression, feeling like a burden on loved ones but desiring to ask for help even in fear of cultural stigma as mental health is still considered a taboo subject in Asian communities. There has been a deep routed misconception across many Asian cultures that you need to ‘save face’ and those who struggle with mental health conditions are ‘crazy’ or that you should not be associated with them and they bring shame to their families. This belief is caused by a lack of understanding of mental health disorders that has prevented many people around the world from seeking mental health care.

Although few stories in media present experiences of mental health with Asian characters it pushed me even more to tell this story through this lens and encourage conversation about mental health within East and Southeast Asian communities.