AWI Short Film Competition

LETTERS: transformations “Shawn’s Ode to Music”

Shawn Tallet is a talented guitarist from Austin, Texas. This is a quick exploration of his creativity and his battle with Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder, a part of a poetic documentary about the powerful transformations of mental illness into creative joy.

Content heads up: Mention of substance abuse, pill use, depression, and anxiety

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Director: Nich L PEREZ

Nich L. Perez is a filmmaker, researcher, educator, based in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. He treats every film grain or pixel as sacred, allowing moments as fragments of memories to transcend through the lens as a whole, beautiful and inspired. He believes that great stories empower and come from the heart. In 2014 he was part of the Human Rights and Photography Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in partnership with the Magnum Foundation. Before doing his research fellowship in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, he was an Assistant Professor in Communications and Visual Arts at a small liberal arts college in Indiana. With 15 years of experience in the fields of education and filmmaking, Nich's work, mostly in the realm of mission-driven media, experimental, and documentary, have been selected in various film festivals and exhibitions. He currently works as the Lead Creative of the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University. He continues to share this passion of educating hearts and forming minds with his students and collaborators, inside and outside the classroom, and in the projects that they create, one pixel at a time.

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Anxiety is the most common mental illness out there, and it takes a lot of different forms. Experiencing some level of anxiety is a normal...


Depression causes severe, negative changes in the way you think and feel which makes it difficult to manage day-to-day tasks and activities such working, sleeping,...

Substance Use Disorder

Substance abuse refers to the harmful use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and drugs. Substance use can lead to addiction and dependence, creating a condition...


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