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We had the opportunity to chat with director and writer Andrea Lewis, behind the scenes of her new short film which focus on mental health; a topic that she is familiar with and finds important to discuss.

Trustworthy Magazine: You recently wrote and directed a film about mental illness and depression. Why was it important to you to focus on mental health ?

Andrea Lewis: I've had my own struggles with depression and mental illness and I'm very open about it and naturally as a filmmaker it's important for me to tell stories that represent my own experience. When it comes to short films my story telling tends to be a reflection of how I'm feeling, or a lesson I recently learned. 

TM: Describe the process of writing and directing a movie about such important issue ?

AL:  Whether I'm telling a story about mental illness or a love story I treat them all with the same care. It's always about knowing who my story is for and usually my stories are written for someone directly in my life. Sometimes it's my friends or a family member or myself to be honest. The writing isn't about beating the message over someone's head, it's about simply sharing an experience in an authentic way and I like for the energy on my sets to be calm. I think actors give their best performances when they feel relaxed and free. 

TM: What do you hope to accomplish with the film?

AL: I don't have an specific goals for this short film, I'm just excited to see it completed. 

TM: Where will it be shown ?

AL: We'll be submitting this film to a bunch of film festivals and hopefully traveling the film festival circuit for 2020. 

Trustworthy Magazine: What's your background ? 

Sidney Rogers: I was born and raised in Virginia and started acting when I was four years old - mainly starring in commercials. Now, I live in Los Angeles, California and am continuing my acting career; now expanding to TV and film.

TM: How long have you been in LA ?

SR: I've lived in LA for four years now.

TM: You were recently seen in the Lifetime movie "The Wrong Cruise". Tell us about the movie and your role;

SR: Yes! The movie is about a mother, Claire, (played by Vivica A. Fox) and daughter, Sky, (played by myself) embarking on a cruise for some much needed bonding. While enjoying their time, Claire and Sky meet two handsome men (played by Andres Londono and Adrian Quinta) whom take them on wild adventures. It isn't until Claire and Sky de-board the boat for a port excursion when they realize that they've been deceived and now have to fight for their survival. In the movie, I play Skylar Tanner, an angsty teen whom recently lost her father. Sky, very much a tomboy, has a hard time connecting with other students as well as her mother, Claire, a girly-girl through and through. When Sky and Claire have to work together to escape their captures, they learn to accept each other's differences and make an effort to be involved more in each other's lives.

TM: And you played Vivica Fox's daughter. What was it like to play against her ?

SR: It was such an amazing opportunity working alongside her! She has taught me a lot both on screen and off; she's extremely inspirational!

TM: Did she give you any good advice on acting or within the movie industry ?

SR: Most definitely but I think the greatest take away I gathered from her is to be unapologetically you - no matter what. To be genuine....and that will not only come across within your acting, but it will also open doors outside of the industry as well.

TM: What's next for Sidney ? 

SR: I have a couple of projects in the works as well as creating my own content. I'll keep you posted!

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