Danny Dyer is to star in a short film directed by a 17-year-old in a bid to raise money for mental health charities.
Stepping Stone is written, directed and produced by first-time filmmaker Noah Caplan, who was inspired to begin work on the project when his younger sister suffered a life-threatening accident.
The 30-minute film, which has now wrapped, follows four characters from different walks of life suffering issues including domestic abuse, alcoholism and living with anxiety.
It aims to highlight how the first step towards gaining help is speaking to someone.
Alongside EastEnders actor Dyer, the film also stars Caplan, David “Sideman” Whitely and Georgia Moncur, while Cush Berlyn plays the role of a counsellor.
Stepping Stone is described as a project aiming “to break the negative stigmas surrounding mental health and get the world talking about an issue that is so rife”.
It is due for release in early 2022 and has been created in support of Calm and other mental health charities.
Dyer said: “The power of this thing (the mind) is a mad old thing, so we’ve got look after it.”
Speaking about Caplan, he added: “I was very, very impressed. Barely 17 years old. The fact he’s got his shit together the way he has and pulled this all together is pretty amazing. I really enjoyed myself. It was a pleasure.”
Caplan said: “It was an absolute honour to work on this film with Danny Dyer and this fantastic team.
“This is a passion project that I have been working on since my sister was involved in and survived a tragic accident and I saw the effect this had on me and everyone around me.
“I am so grateful that this experience led me to give back to the world, through the power of film.”
He added: “Mental health is something very close to my heart and I hope this film can help other people.
“As a family, mental health has always been an open discussion, and I want to help bring that conversation into many other households and friendship groups.
“With this film we hope to put the subject matter in the limelight, using familiar faces and extravagant storytelling. My goal is to make mental health an open discussion.”
Stepping Stone comes from Chance 43 Productions.