top of page


Jen Betts  |


Swanky Flicks is proud to present the cinematic short film “THE LOVE EFFECT”, a drama written by Tyler Atkins, Ari Blinder, and Drue Metz and directed by Drue Metz.

(Los Angeles, CA) – February, 2016 – “THE LOVE EFFECT” is the story of two men who are struggling with depression and suicide. The unexpected friendship that they form helps them to rediscover life’s greatest gift and its powerful effect. It premieres February 22, 2016, 7:30pm at the Crest Theatre, Westwood with special guests including partner representative from MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA.

Tyler Atkins and Ari Blinder star in this moving tale as hero “Tom” and friend “Robbie”, who never share each others’ name throughout the film. Both characters, men in their late 20’s, are dealing with depression and loss in very radical ways. Tom escaped to the California coast to come to terms his deceased love, while Robbie made his way to the same spot in order to take his own life. Two men of different backgrounds share similar emotional experiences with depression and suicide and find a pathway through together by sharing experiences as simple as fishing, surfing, and camping.

The loss, depression, suicide, and friendship emphasized in the film are meant to draw attention to the importance of love and its effect on everyone. THE LOVE EFFECT team (Atkins, Blinder, Metz) have partnered with MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA in efforts to promote mental well-being and increase suicide awareness.





•  Winner GRAND JURY PRIZE 2016 Santa Monica International Film Festival

•  Nominated for Best Lead Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography

•  Winner BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - 2016 Malibu International Film Festival

•  Winner of BEST ACTOR - Tyler Atkins - Hollywood Short Film Festival
•  Nominated for a 2016 SAMHSA Voice Award

•  Official Selection: 2016 NYC Mental Health Film Festival

•  Official Selecton:  2016 Green Bay Film Festival

•  Official Selection: 2016 MHA Mental Health Film Festival 

•  International Premiere:  Sydney, Australia - TBA









Q:  Can you speak a little to the motivations/goals behind The Love Effect and how it can help spread a good message to combat mental illness/suicide?


Kubrick’s quote beautifully expresses both the tone and style of THE LOVE EFFECT and my approach to directing it:  



I wanted to create a unique filmic experience — something timeless, beholden to no era, though unmistakably human and relatable.  I employed a myriad of techniques for this film: documentary-realism to put the viewer right by the characters and the campfire, expressive stylization to take you on an emotional journey through the hero’s past, symbolism and more. Every image, landscape, prop, clothing choice and color was designed and directed - as I wanted it all to point to my universal themes and overarching statements. The film itself is approached with subtlety but deep emotion. Its dialogue and characters are rich with substance and symbolism, with a story that sensitively speaks to depression, suicide and LOVE.  


Q:  What was your vision for directing this film? 

My approach to the film was to first identify the our story's actual theme, then cater to showing that in every scene; I wanted the feelings and emotion of the story to reflect in the “The Love Effect’s" message.  

In the story, the discussion of LOVE illuminates gifts of friendship, trust and fearless conversation, which in-turn opens up a pathway of self-discovery and clarity in our characters’ struggles. Symbolic, minimalist, quiet and reserved, I wanted to create a film that communicates tone, style and perspective all from the smallest of looks, atmospheric sounds and character moments. The camera is controlled, deliberate and designed from scene-to-scene to elicit a variety of thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, helps support the overall mystical feeling of love, the power of fate and the optimism of faith.



Q:  How would you describe the opportunity a film like this has where it can artistically shine a light on very important social issues? 

Developing, writing and directing THE LOVE EFFECT film, and soon after serving as the co-founder and creative director for The Love Effect Organization has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life. I believe as a filmmaker we have the power to inspire, educate and change the world for the better; however I didn’t know that The Love Effect would become as powerful and as moving as it has, not just for me but for others. Cinema and storytelling at its core should be memorable entertainment, but more than that, cinema should uplift, guide and elevate our culture and our world.  And they do - media is more powerful than ever.  I believe that media and cinema are some of the most influential forms of influence. Films and television are more meaningful and relevant to our daily lives than ever before. While documentary and PSAs are very important — narrative storytelling in film and television resonate in us in an entirely different way. They even carry on in our belief systems, our behaviors and our thoughts. Especially in this day and age, with politics, commercials, excessive advertisement, social media and snapchats - the best thing we could do right now is go back to story; good storytelling and good cinema. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to accomplish in life!

Disable music below before PRESSING PLAY

bottom of page