Photographer Rambo Elliott debuts trailer for her short film on mental health at SXSW (VIDEO interview)

Rambo Elliott M2G Ventures Red Productions mental health




AUSTIN – It’s been about a year since Rambo Elliott, the Fort Worth photographer whose images of musician Leon Bridges helped propel his career and hers, took a call from the two founders of the fast-growing M2G Ventures real estate firm: Would Rambo, as she’s known, consider making a film about mental health awareness. The M2G partners – Jessica Miller and Susan Gruppi – had lost a loved one who battled mental health.

“I’m a photographer, not a filmmaker,” Elliott remembers thinking. Soon, a partnership of Elliott, M2G and the Fort Worth film producer Red Sanders and his Red Productions developed. M2G paid for the approximate $30,000 cost of producing the film, including money they raised last fall in a Kickstarter campaign. Friday night in the house that Visit Fort Worth is hosting at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Elliott debuted a one-minute trailer for the film, called “The Bridge.” It’s a fictional story and 12-minute short film about a girl seen in the film over the course of 20 years in her life. Roxanna Redfoot, a Dallas actress and model, plays the lead, Elliott says. Elliott’s niece, Lindsay Baer, and Fort Worth musician Abraham Alexander; who played Friday night at the Fort Worth house, also play roles. The crew shot the film on locations in Fort Worth and Lake Granbury.

Elliott gave us an interview  in the Fort Worth bungalow after debuting the trailer.

The story: “It’s an immersive art experience in the world of mental health. I wanted to show what it feels like. It walks through repression, anxiety and depression. (Of the main character), you see her at 11, you see her at 20, and you see her at 30. These problems can take time. I wanted to show every evolution.”

On Elliott’s own struggles with depression: “I think about mental health all the time because it’s my battle. I struggle with mental health.”

On the conversations she hopes the film will produce: “This has to be normal. What would it be like if we could have conversations like that? I want people to know what their problems are called. As soon as you can name something, you get better.”

Where’s the film in production now: “The film is probably a few weeks from complete. I think we’ll complete it in May. And we’ll probably have a debut at Red studios” on the Near Southside.

Why the movie’s called The Bridge: “That’s in the film. We’re not going to tell.”


Fly a fighter simulator? Free whiskey? Great bands? DIY spice-making with Tim Love? Of course, Fort Worth's SXSW house was a hit on Day 1.