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Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide

An up-to-date look at Youth Suicide with an examination of the warning signs, statistics and causes, along with possible ways teachers and parents can use to help their child overcome this important social issue. Also includes a look at the media and its handling of the social issue through the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" and the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, "Dear Evan Hansen."

  • Max Hechtman
    Director
  • Max Hechtman
    Producer
    I Am Here (2016), Pathways to Climate Success (2017)
  • John Halligan
    Key Cast
    “Himself”
    THS Investigates: Online Nightmares (2006), Frontline (2008)
  • Ryan Halligan
    Key Cast
    “Himself (archival footage)”
    THS Investigates: Online Nightmares (2006), Frontline (2008)
  • Meryl Cassidy
    Key Cast
    “Herself”
  • Harold Koplewicz
    Key Cast
    “Himself”
    48 Hours (2017), Iron Knight: Lou Gehrig (2015), American Hercules: Babe Ruth (2015), 60 Minutes (2014), 20/20 (2012), Nickelodeon Special Edition (1991)
  • Laura Dreyfuss
    Key Cast
    “Zoe Murphy (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    After Party (2017), Glee (2015)
  • Mike Faist
    Key Cast
    “Connor Murphy (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    Deception (2018), Wildling (2018), Active Adults (2017), I Can I Will I Did (2017)
  • Kristolyn Lloyd
    Key Cast
    “Alana Beck (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    Lie to Me (2011), The Bold and the Beautiful (2010-2013), ER (2009)
  • Michael Park
    Key Cast
    “Larry Murphy (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    Steamboat (2010), Gotham the Series (2009), As the World Turns (1997-2010)
  • Will Roland
    Key Cast
    “Jared Kleinman (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    One Penny (2017), Red Oaks (2016), The Mysteries of Laura (2015)
  • Jennifer Laura Thompson
    Key Cast
    “Cynthia Murphy (archival footage) (uncredited)”
    Construction (2015), Person of Interest (2011), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2002)
  • Rachel Bay Jones
    Key Cast
    “Heidi Hansen (archive footage) (uncredited)”
    Louie (2015), The Family (2016), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2018)
  • Heather Cleary
    Key Cast
    “Herself”
  • Ben Platt
    Key Cast
    “Evan Hansen (archival footage)”
    Pitch Perfect (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016), Ricki and the Flash (2015)
  • Max Hechtman
    Director of Photography
  • Max Hechtman
    Editor
  • Max Hechtman
    Camera Operators
    I Am Here (2016)
  • Chris Tsalikis
    Camera Operators
  • Briana Ristau
    Camera Operators
  • Film Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 16, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • Awareness Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    October 1, 2018
    West Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • NYC Mental Health Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    October 13, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Chelsea Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    October 19, 2018
    New York Premiere
    Official Selection
  • YoungFilmmakers New York
    New York, NY
    United States
    November 28, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Long Island International Film Festival
    Bellmore, New York
    United States
    July 13, 2019
    Long Island Premiere
    Best Documentary
Distribution Information
  • Max Hechtman Films
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Max Hechtman

MAX HECHTMAN has been producing, shooting, and editing videos, ever since he was 12 years old. He has borrowed his style of shooting and editing from various movies and utilizes them to present his short film/documentary/event work in the most professional way possible. He is best known for his work as the resident videographer for East Meadow High School from 2013-15, as well as his first short film, "I Am Here," which screened at film festivals throughout 2016.

He currently attends the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) as a Film Major and intends to pursue a career in the video production industry after he graduates, making films (narrative and documentary) and content with relevant and important messages for audiences around the world.

He is currently in post production on "Abigail," his senior thesis film for FIT and hopes to adapt two-three existing Broadway musicals for the big screen in the future.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Youth suicide is an important global mental health issue, especially for college students (my age group ages 14 -24). According to the World Health Organization, in their report, "Preventing Suicide: A global imperative" (September 4, 2014), "suicide-related behaviors affect all ages, nationalities, economic levels, and cultures. Every year around the world more than 800,000 people die by suicide. Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 20-year-olds." According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which also acknowledges suicide as a global issue, "media reports should include factional information on suicide rates, warning signs of youth suicide and information on hotlines and support services for adolescents and concerned parents."

I felt the best way to raise awareness for this critical global health issue was to make a documentary that would have an impact on young people contemplating suicide, and their friends and family members to help them and discourage their urge to complete suicide, by telling the story from personal, clinical and crisis prevention perspectives.