It’s not every day you get to sit in a room full of people talking openly about mental health, but that is exactly what arthur gallery’s new short film, Genesis X, prompted dozens of young adults to do. Hosted at the Hippo Factory Studios in Los Angeles, the 15 minute movie was screened in the large photo studio with an open bar and music featured by William Anthony.
The film follows a down-on-her-luck young woman named Xiomara, played by Jalesa Marks. Xiomara is struggling to turn her life around and impress her esteemed father working for an infamous corporation. As she continues to perform tasks for the company, she struggles to break free from her anxiety feeling as though there is no escape.
As many young professionals have seen, the standards of work ethic and face time set by corporations lead to increased anxiety and a diminished sense of self-worth. gallery explores this notion in Genesis X by outlining the pressures Xiomara faces from the corporation while also outlining the parental pressures that come with said performance. Stylistically, gallery also illustrates these tensions through Xiomara’s body language, a strong cinematic color palette, and action scenes. The film’s musical efforts, led by William Anthony, also create a palpable sense of stress as we see Xiomara struggle to reconcile her work and her emotions.
Q&A moderated by Sadé Unique Grandberry
During the Q&A with gallery and the cast, the discussion centered around the anxieties and pressures of corporate life. The open dialogue was refreshing given mental health is still seen as a taboo subject. Take away from the night? There is a little Xiomara in all of us, but perhaps there is an escape if we continue to de-stigmatize mental health.