Publish date: 23 February 2023

As part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Monday 27 February to Friday 3 March) and following the success of our in-person premiere at the BFI in December, we'll be rolling into three major cities in the UK to host screenings of the Nexus short film.

Nexus is a short film drama about the impact of Covid-19 on young people's mental health , eating-related coping strategies, and the power of social connection.

The film was made as part of a collaboration between West London NHS Trust, Inner Eye Productions and Imperial College London, with funding from the Burdett Trust.

Here's the premise of the film as written by its director Chris Godwin of Inner Eye Productions: "Just like every other 17-year-olds of his generation, Matt is looking forward to an exciting year filled with lots of opportunity and excitement – until lockdown hits. Shut away from his friends, the bulimia which he thought was under control returns. He fights it by trying to maintain contact with his friends – but this is thwarted by his family being on the wrong side of the digital divide. As the bulimia takes hold he pushes away his friends and family further away. His salvation comes in the form of a profound act of kindness."

The film was co-produced with young people and based on research from Dr Lindsay Dewa, an advanced research fellow at Imperial College London.

The cases of eating disorders among young people during the pandemic increased significantly, prompting the government to invest an extra £79 million into mental health services to cater for 2000 extra children to start eating disorder treatment

It's for this reason the story reflects a teenage boy struggling with bulimia. One of the main findings of the research was the best coping mechanism for young people was eachother.

Another feather in the film's bow is that it is being archived by the BFI, which means it will be watched in years to come to better understand the pandemic and its impact on young people's mental health.

The aim of the roadshows, which will be held in cinemas in Birmingham, Manchester and Middlesbrough, is to showcase the effectiveness of engaging young people about mental health. It also aims to educate people about the links between children and young people's mental health, eating disorders and social isolation. And finally to show the strength of innovative partnerships and capture a significant moment in time.

The film has already attracted press with Lindsay and one of the young people involved in the project, Simi, being interviewed by BBC World Service. You can listen to the interview here

Lindsay and Chris also spoke with BBC West Midlands ahead of the upcoming roadshow in Birmingham, which you can listen to here

We hope the roadshows, which will involve Q and As with the young people, director and researchers, will generate as much debate as our in-person premiere did at BFI Stephen Street at the end of last year.

The roadshows will end with an online premiere of the Nexus short film on Thursday 2 March at 7pm on YouTube, which will be followed by another Q&A.

You can watch a trailer for the film here.

Here are the links to register for the upcoming roadshow events: