With her recent award-winning short film, a former Miss Burbank winner hopes to help those suffering with depression know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
"True Center," a documentary by Burbank resident Ashley Karp, received the Award of Recognition from the Best Shorts Competition in June. The piece is currently making its way through the film festival circuit.
The film focuses on Burbank native Meaghan Worthey, a friend of Karp's when they both attended Burbank High School. It delves into Worthey's practice of drawing and painting to deal with her depression, which accompanied bulimia, drug abuse and self harm, Karp said.
"I've humbly learned over the years that to me, my personal recovery will never be a treasure map with the pot of gold waiting at the end," Worthey said in a statement. "My recovery is more like a labyrinth with my true treasure at the center."
Having suffered from anorexia herself, Karp, who was Miss Burbank in 2012, said she could relate to what Worthey was going through and was compelled to share her friend's story with others who might be looking for some inspiration on how to address such difficulties in their own lives.
"I wanted to give her a piece of art that she could look at and see the beauty through all of the pain that she went through," Karp said of her film. "Through that, I found beauty through myself and realized that all the hardships you can go through don't define you. It's what you do with the hardships that truly define you."
Though Karp and Worthey went to high school with one another, Karp said she didn't find out about Worthey's eating disorder until last September, when they both ran into one another while celebrating their birthdays , which are just a day a part.
After touching base during that unexpected meeting and later spending some time catching up with one another's lives, Karp, now a New York Film Academy graduate, was inspired to make a documentary about her friend.
"There's a stigma with women where we have to put out a facade for people to see that says that everything is fine, but you can go behind closed doors and everything isn't," Karp said. "To shed light on that is such a beautiful thing to do. I feel blessed knowing that I can inspire others that are dealing with the same problems and that there are other outlets and other ways to express your inner emotions rather than being self-deprecating."
To learn more about the documentary, email Karp at email@example.com.