South African short film ‘Voicenote’ is an impactful snapshot of the struggles of mental health


The director of the critically acclaimed South African short film, Voicenote has been nominated for the international accolade – The Young Director Award.

Voicenote was directed by South African Talya Galasko, who is one of 153 young directors from over 20 countries nominated for this year’s Young Director Award (YDA). The YDA is the only international award dedicated to rising young directors with the organisation supporting and promoting debuting international creative talent in commercial film production since 1998.

The six-minute film, commissioned by Hope Guardians, depicts a young man, played by Thapelo Marapofela, fighting depression and anxiety, as he battles to commit to seeing a friend. 

Voicenote was also chosen by the video platform giant Vimeo as one of the best short films on the internet and has received Vimeo’s ‘Staff Picks’ badge, gaining the film massive traffic and views.

“The making of Voicenote was a nurturing and collaborative effort on the part of so many young creatives who themselves suffer from anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness,” said director Galasko.“I’m grateful that this film will reach viewers globally, but more than that, I’m thankful that with our YDA nomination, it will shine a spotlight on Hope Guardians, an NGO which really has the power to make tangible change in people’s lives”.

Hope Guardians’ founder, Ben Tuttle, said the organisation’s broader vision is to collaborate with other mental health providers – “[we want] to amplify the message and create a ‘movement’ which will help us with our ambitious goal of offering thousands of young people weekly one-on-one therapy [for free] in their own language and cultural context.”

Watch the full short film Voicenote, below and find more trending content, right here.

*Hope Guardians offers young people free, online therapy, once a week. Sessions are conducted with mental health professionals in your chosen language. Visit for more information.

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