A daughter, struggling with her mental health, is trying to cope with the death of her mother.

A father, recently released from prison, struggles to raise his teenage daughter as a single parent.

The Inquisitive focuses on the tragic subject of teenage suicide. The film will be a story of two halves and follow a non-linear narrative so that the audience can truly experience how easy it is to be unaware that a person is struggling with suicidal ideologies.

Read the Story


The first half of the film focuses on the story of Paul, a rugged man in his early thirties who has just been released from prison after 15 years for manslaughter. His ex-partner passes away and leaves him responsible for their, now, 15 year old daughter Selena. As Paul’s story develops we watch as he tries to singlehandedly raise his daughter, run a household and struggle to find work as an ex-convict.

Much to our horror, his story ends with the suicide of his daughter, something he nor us as the audience can understand. She seemed so happy, why would she do this? Here is where Selena’s story begins. We return to the start of the film and watch the same events unfold but through the eyes of a teenage girl, revealing how she slowly sunk into a state of despair that eventually caused her to take her own life. Never revealing her true pain to the world.



Played by Daisie Boyes

To the world, Selena is the kind, intelligent, and funny 15 year old girl. Behind closed doors, she is the girl who’s mother recently passed away. The girl who’s father was sent to prison for manslaughter when she was only a few months old. The girl who is now forced to live with a father she knows nothing about and is starting to struggle with her emotions and dark thoughts. Each day she begins to question the meaningless of life, the pointlessness of struggling for an entire existence only for it to be taken away, with no purpose served. But these thoughts are her own, in the darkness, where she is alone, she is the girl who’s soul is lost.


Played by Barney Jones

When he was just 16 years of age, Paul was on top of the world. He had quit school, was making good money whilst working his way up the ranks of a local gang, and he and his childhood sweetheart had just had their first baby, a girl named Selena. But this all changed when Paul was sent to prison for 15 years for manslaughter. It was a humbling experience for him and he eventually improved his behaviour and worked hard to better himself. But mere months before his release, his childhood sweetheart informs him of the cancer that is slowly killing her, and the teenage daughter he now needs to care for upon his release.


This story needs to be told for one simple fact: Suicide is the number one cause of death in young people aged 5-19 in England and Wales.*

This statistic is horrific and yet not many people know about it, or when mentioned to the majority of people, they find it hard to believe. This film focuses on an extremely serious subject matter that audiences need to know about, and we as filmmakers want to raise awareness of. Granted, there are other suicide films/tv series that exist, but the way in which we’re approaching the story by working with industry professionals, charities and organisations to ensure the film is factual and represents the issues facing young people, means we are making something which reaches far beyond cinema.

One key question we ask within the film is, ‘why is this statistic so high in young people’? Much research and evidence leads to a number of reasons, however our focus has been on the fact that the stresses of modern life, leave many young people without a sense of purpose or meaning for life. Although suicide itself is by no means a mental illness, many suicides and suicide attempts stem from some form of mental health struggle, therefore a large component of the film focuses on our lead character, Selena struggling with depression, which in-turn leads her to start having very nihilistic thoughts and suicidal ideologies. She is somewhat aware of these issues but doesn’t speak to anyone about her feelings, or even reveal to her friends or family the sheer despair she is feeling about life.

And this is why we need the film to raise as much awareness as possible about the cause, we want people to start openly talking to family and friends about these issues, without any judgement or stigma. We know there are charities out there working tirelessly to help people suffering with suicidal ideologies and this is why, once the film is made, we are donating 50% of all profits to charities and organisations focusing on teenage suicide, so the film has a direct support for the good work already being done, but also trying to help even further by raising even more awareness.

* Office for National Statistics ONS 2016


Let us now think of The Inquisitive as, less of a film, and more of a cause. There are many reasons people choose to end their own lives, but we focus on a teenage girl who is in true despair over the meaningless of life. She is silently suffering with depression which fuels her with nihilistic and suicidal ideologies until one day she cannot bear the burden any longer and takes her own life.

As a cause, what we are discussing is this simple fact: ‘50% of mental health problems are established by age 14’ (1) this may not sound of great importance, but it’s the embryo of what could potentially lead to a person choosing to take their own life. In wider society we deem 14 years of age as the time one would, perhaps, stop playing with toys, or stop climbing trees. We never think of it as an age where an individual would need to stop the onset of mental illness, and this needs to change. Right now, imagine all of the horrors in the world, every last bad thought leading up to death itself, each one attached to a diagnosed mental illness. Now, half that horror and place it into the mind of a 14 year old. Half their mind is potentially filled with the darkest toxicity of ones imagination and they are expected to, without anyone thinking this ‘child’ could possibly be suffering from a mental illness, just ‘carry on’. From here, life continues to fade and with a lack of understanding what these dark thoughts rushing through their mind every second of everyday even mean, what are they to do? Well, surely their families will notice…right?

But what if there’s not enough awareness, and what most professionals would consider symptoms, most of the population think is just ‘adolescent behaviour’? There is too great of a stigma attached to young people and their emotions, they simply aren’t taken seriously enough. Granted, a 14 year old hasn’t had the life experiences of someone twice their age, but does that mean what they’re suffering doesn’t exist? Of course, it’s not the adult’s fault if they do not know what to look out for and think it’s simply their son, daughter, nephew or niece going through the ‘stroppy teen phase’. But it’s this lack of awareness, this lack of understanding, that can lead to life-altering mental health illnesses and, at worst, fatalities.

Data from NHS Digital showed that 41% of all admissions to hospital for self-harm were teenagers, and what’s the standard reaction to teenage self-harm? ‘Attention seeking’. Well…yes! It’s most definitely attention seeking, but not in the detrimental term, in the deepest, darkest recesses of a young adolescent mind screaming for someone to help them. And when they’re not taken seriously, where does this leave them? Dissociated from a society that is meant to be there to help them. And if they lose faith in the world around them, their purpose slowly dissipates. The ‘Good Childhood Report’ showed that ’15 year olds in the UK are among the saddest and least satisfied with their lives in Europe’, continuing on it states their report ‘highlights the high levels of ‘fear of failure’ among 15 year olds in the UK compared to other countries.

Many felt their life didn’t have a sense of purpose.’ And there it is, we reach the peak of our Everest. ‘Their life didn’t have a sense of purpose’, these are not just ‘stroppy teenagers’, these are human beings who are suffering in silence and are far more intelligent than society gives them credit for. But with everything else happening to this poor adolescent, what else is left for them to do, if not engross themselves in an existential crisis like this? And if mental illness is already prevalent, then the outlook for suicide is even worse. This lack of purpose is then the fully-formed embryo that will soon take this person’s life. Suicide is the final step for one who has no purpose in life. Why fight to live when there is no purpose in living? More must be done to prevent this, and it most definitely can be prevented if we can raise the awareness of these issues and simply spoke to each other about these feelings we or other’s are struggling with. What if mainstream media outlets spoke up about the rise in teenage depression and suicide? What if more research was undertaken to explore why these young people have no purpose and why there are nearly 300 suicides each year of people aged 10 – 19.(2)

And if not them, then it is left to us, the contemporary artist in the guise of filmmakers. If The Inquisitive can raise the awareness of this issue with the backing of charities and establishments all joining the fight to prevent anymore needless suffering and deaths of teenagers, then this film will have accomplished its cause. So please don’t think of The Inquisitive as ‘just another teenage suicide film’. It’s far more than that.

1. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication | 2005 |
Ronald C Kessler 1, Patricia Berglund, Olga Demler, Robert Jin, Kathleen R Merikangas, Ellen E Walters

2. Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report | 2019 & Suicides in England and Wales – Office for National Statistics | 2021

Our Collaborators

We have been lucky enough to collaborate with a range of charities, foundations and institutions who are all fighting for the prevention and awareness of teenage mental illness and teenage suicide.

The OLLLIE Foundation is a registered charity devoted to stopping teenagers and young people from taking their own lives, funding suicide intervention skills training for young people, professionals and members of the general public.

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The Institute for Lifecourse Development is a resource centre run by the University of Greenwich where professionals from different fields work closely together with researchers and stakeholders from public, charitable and voluntary organisations.

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Support Us

If you believe in what we’re trying to do and would like to help make The Inquisitive then please get in touch and we can discuss our investor and producer options further.

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