It’s a hard discussion. It’s uncomfortable, it hurts and it pulls on the heartstrings. But one local family wants to share the struggle, the suffering and the grief but also the memory of their son Justin Paulsen, who lost his battle with depression and OCD in 2019 at the age of 21.
To portray the message of loss but also of hope, support and community, mom Deborah Paulsen is working with JCFilms, a faith-based movie production company, to produce I Want to Jump, based on Justin’s life. The movie is a psychological drama film featuring Superman actor Dean Cain and is produced by the family of Justin to help educate parents on this issue. Production is set to begin in March between Tampa and Bridgeport, West Virginia.
“I Want to Jump is a true story about my son, Justin,” explained Deborah. “He suffered from OCD and could not shake off his suicidal thoughts.”
The movie will show how his deepest thoughts spiraled out of control, leaving a family shattered.
“The main purpose of the film is, of course, to help bring awareness to suicide and help people hopefully make a better choice than my son did,” said Deborah. “To help people find help. There are resources for help, and I am praying God allows me a platform to show this film in schools, and wherever it needs to be heard.” After her son’s loss, Deborah got involved in local grief therapy with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and she would like the organization to be highlighted as well.
“Suicide is a huge crisis in Florida and around the country, and we want to raise awareness and break the silence with this movie,” she stated.
Deborah is an educator, singer, actor and performer who has also appeared in other JCFilms productions and is a featured performer in the St. Petersburg Opera. In addition, Deborah is a writer, and her screenplay, A Still Small Voice, has won film festival awards.
Founder of JCFilms and writer of the screenplay Jason Campbell will executively produce and direct the movie alongside Deborah herself.
“This may be one of the most important films we’ve ever produced, as suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among teenagers. Debbie and Randy are so brave to share their story,” said Jason Campbell, president of JCFilms Studios.
Deborah hopes the movie will provide awareness.
“My character has a message for anyone struggling with suicide, depression, PTSD, anxiety and other taboo mental health issues,” she said. “Not telling someone ‘you lack faith,’ but embracing them with the agape love God gives us and we are supposed to exemplify.”
In addition to Cain and Deborah, the film has also signed on stars Arabella Weaver, Eddie McClintock and Caryssa Beard, and opportunities for casting and crew are still available.
For more information and to get involved, email Deborah at email@example.com, visit www.foreverandalwaysproductions.com or go to www.jcfilms.org/iwantjump.