Suffering in silence

Student film showcasing battle with depression accepted into the TMC London Film Festival.

Three minutes and 14 seconds of silence.

That’s how long Cody Tevis, fine arts junior, told the story of a young woman struggling with depression in his short film, “Battle.” Tevis used body language and shot selection to tell the story.

“Battle” was accepted into the TMC London Film Festival, a quarterly online film festival. According to its website, the festival aims to highlight filmmakers who aspire to make the world a safer and better place to live. The winners of the festival will be announced via social media on Tuesday, March 15.

“Battle” was also accepted into the Online Short of the Month. According to its website, being nominated for this award means that Short of the Month puts the short film on its website and advertises for the film.

“I didn’t really expect to be accepted into anything,” Tevis said. “It was more like shots in the dark. It was a huge boost of confidence for me.”

Image courtesy of Cody Tevis
Image courtesy of Cody Tevis

Tevis said it was important for him to capture the emotions and struggles of a person suffering with depression.

“Every day [people with depression] wake up and they face this overwhelming feeling of depression and sadness,” Tevis said. “They fight it every day. I wanted to take this concept and show people what it’s like, without using words, and have the audience empathize with the character.”

Tevis said that, for some people, medicine and psychiatric treatments are not enough, and he wanted to capture that in his film.

“I know depression affects people greatly,” Tevis said. “It not only affects the person going through it, but also the people around them.”

“I didn’t really expect to be accepted into anything, … It was more like shots in the dark. It was a huge boost of confidence for me.”

— Cody Tevis

Tevis said he had the concept for the film in mind for over two years. He said he waited on producing the film because he wanted to have the proper equipment and find the right actress for the part.

“Whenever I envision a film I always have this look that I want the actor to fill,” Tevis said. “[Bekah Stewart] was it. She had the look and did a great job.”

Tevis said he met Stewart at Cornerstone Church in Floyds Knobs, where Tevis does video and graphic work.

Tevis said he directed and edited “Battle” for FINA-S 217: Introduction to Video Art in the fall of 2015. He said he spent five hours planning, four hours shooting and two hours editing.

Tiffany Carbonneau, assistant professor of fine arts, instructs the class. Carbonneau said Tevis went beyond the requirements of the class.

“The skill he showed in capturing and editing the footage was at a really high level,” Carbonneau said. “It’s really professional. He’s really pushed himself beyond the parameters of the course in terms of film production.”

Tevis said his next project, another film, is currently in production. He said the film will be 25 minutes long