YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown filmmaker is using his craft to bring awareness to suicide.
“Me knowing people — you know, in my family and other friends — that have committed suicide, I believe that suicide is sometimes overlooked,” Maurandis Berger said. “Kind of like, taboo. Nobody really wants to talk about it but it’s serious.”
Berger created the film “Poor Georgie” after hearing a story about a man who took his life in San Francisco.
Berger said he talked with the man’s family and they gave their blessing to base his film on the man’s death.
Although Berger uses a different name for the character, a lot of his same struggles are shown in the film.
“It’s a part in the movie where once he does get alone, his whole demeanor changes,” Berger said. “He turns into a completely different person and once he saw everybody was gone, and now he’s with his thoughts.”
He said this film is different from other films he has done. Berger has been acting since he was a child and now he writes, produces and shoots his own films, along with acting in them.
Berger said this film isn’t about entertainment, though. It’s about the message.
“I think ‘Poor Georgie’ will help people pay attention to the signs of suicide.”
The film was shot in Youngstown with some scenes shot in San Francisco.
The premiere of the movie will be on Facebook Live this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Berger said he wanted to make it free and available to the public in order to reach those struggling with similar situations.
You can watch the premiere by liking his Facebook page.
Berger said he has gained support for this project from Artistic Expression, a local holistic health service.
Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can reach out to the Suicide Help Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7.