Media Arts 1: St. Louis Filmmaker Raises Awareness of Mental Health Through Filmmaking

3:36

Jon Alexander has always had an interest in the visual arts.  In 2011, Alexander injured his knee, leaving him with a lot of free time and a lot of creative energy, which lead to his passion for filmmaking. 

Alexander currently has numerous films under his belt, most notably CYCLE and Enough.  “CYCLE is about a young man from the inner city who witnesses something traumatic and it’s kind of life altering for him,” Alexander said. “So, he’s put on this path to try to steer away from those cycles like violence and drugs. It was really a story to de-stigmatize therapy and mental illness.” 

Alexander wrote, directed, and edited CYCLE.  “It dives deeper than just mental health as a whole, specifically mental health with black men,” Alexander said. “It gives people a safe space. It let’s people sitting in the room look around and realize ‘I’m not the only one going through this.’” 

In Enough, where Alexander is the lead character, writer, director, and videographer, a man comes to terms with his emotionally and mentally abusive behavior.  “You can only go so far if you’re not okay on the inside – okay emotionally and mentally,” Alexander said. “It can be a burden. It can weigh down on you. So, I want people to be the best person they can be, and the only way you can be that is if you’re okay with yourself.”

Student Tools

Student Tool 66: Video Reflection Worksheet

Students can use this activity on their own to share their learning and insights about any video they watch independently, and this Student Tool can also be used in conjunction with Teacher Tool 318: Sharing Your Insights Through A Reflection Worksheet as part of a classroom or homeschool activity. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.

Download

Student Tool 75: Predict, Reflect, Question Student Worksheet

Have students use this worksheet in conjunction with any video on our Educate.Today website.

Download

Teacher Tools

Teacher Tool 318: Cross Curricular Activity--Video Reflection

This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Interdisciplinary activity that invites students to complete a reflection worksheet to share learning and insights they gained by watching the video. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.

Download