The Stranger on the Bridge tells the moving story of Jonny Benjamin. Having been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder shortly beforehand, he stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge in January 2008 and prepared to take his own life. That was until a stranger walking across the bridge saw him and talked Jonny down from the edge. Jonny was taken to hospital and didn’t see the stranger again but was determined to find him and thank him for what he did.
Jonny launched the #FindMike campaign with the support of Rethink Mental Illness, which became a social media sensation, eventually reaching over 300 million people worldwide. In using this hashtag Jonny’s story helped to stimulate positive change and engage viewers in these issues of mental illness in an accessible and sensitive way.
The film captures every step of Jonny's remarkable journey including the phenomenon of the campaign, the many leads and 'Mikes' that came forward and ultimately his successful reunion with the man that saved his life. Everything changed for Jonny that day, but also, as a result, he has become a mental health campaigner who in his own right has helped transform the lives of many other people around the world through his work.
Emotional, heartwarming and thought-provoking, this is a film about a simple human interaction and how one man's kind gesture six years ago has had a huge butterfly effect beyond what anyone could ever have imagined...
Sam Forsdike – Director
Sam graduated from Oxford University and started his broadcast career at the award winning South Bank Show where he worked as a Researcher and Associate Producer on a number of programmes including profiles of Michael Sheen, the RSC, Judi Dench and Ian McEwan. He then worked as a freelance documentary Producer on films including Love on the Transplant List (BBC3), Class and Culture (BBC2) and God Save The Queens (Sky Atlantic). Sam has also worked as a Development Producer for a number of independent production companies securing documentary commissions for the BBC, ITV, C4, and Sky.
Sam co-founded Postcard Productions in 2010 with Richard Bentley and has produced and directed a wide range of films for the charity sector including Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Time To Change and Prison Reform Trust.
Richard Bentley – Executive Producer
Richard has ten years experience in broadcast television having produced and directed observational documentaries for all the major broadcasters including Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands , Police Missing Person’s Unit, The Sex Clinic, Party Paramedics and Doctors Are Human Too as well as a series of films for The One Show. His filming has taken him across the globe from Australia to Europe. He was also shortlisted for the BBC Fresh Director scheme with his film for the ‘It’s A Mad World’ season. also produced and directed the online content for the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Working alongside presenter Chris Evans and well known sporting personalities.
Richard now splits his time between directing charity and education films for Postcard Productions as well as developing and producing content for broadcast television.
Natalie Coleman – Producer
Since graduating with first class honours in English and a diploma in journalism, Natasha has worked in the charity sector for over ten years producing both written and film content to educate and campaign on mental illness for charities including Rethink Mental Illness, MindWise, Mind Australia, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Schizophrenia Commission, CALM and SGI International.
Most recently she's worked as Producer on the 'Finding Mike' documentary in association with Postcard Productions, as well as various community based film projects to promote well being in the community.
Franklin Dow – Director Of Photography
Franklin graduated from AIB in 2005 with first class honours in Cinematography, also winning two Kodak Student Commercial Awards. He has since built a uniquely broad range of work from Drama and Verite Documentary to Commercials and Fashion.
Franklin’s work has screened at numerous film festivals, including Sundance, LFF, SXSW, FujiFilm Shorts and Camerimage, collecting various awards along the way including Best Cinematography.
Franklin’s recent work includes 'Drone Strike' which won Best Short Film at the Rhode Island Int. Film Festival. Making it the festivals nomination for Academy Award consideration at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014.
Lizzie Minnion – Editor
Lizzie has extensive experience in theatre and film, working with actors, writers and directors. Lizzie was the Co-founder of Calling The Shots, a Bristol Production company who have a long history of edgy independent film-making. She directed two film dramas for CTS and has been nominated for several prestigious awards. Her film Looking For Diana won a Royal Television Society award and was selected for the BBC film festival.
Lizzie has a passion for story telling and a strong track record in independent film. She edited the award winning feature length documentary "The Ballad of Vicki and Jake" and went on to edit the sequel "Jake Not Finished Yet".
Lizzie’s broadcast credits include Hamlet from Stage to Screen, Dr Who, Touchwood and Everest Beyond The Limit.