Pink Skies Ahead is shedding light on the challenges of living with anxiety. ET is exclusively premiering the trailer for the Kelly Oxford-written-and-directed film, which follows Winona (Jessica Barden), a 20-year-old college dropout who moves home with her parents only to discover that “growing up f**king sucks.”
“I want to stick a fork in an electrical socket every minute that I’m there,” she says in the trailer of her life at home.
When Winona doesn’t believe it after a doctor diagnoses her with an anxiety disorder, she carries on with her wild lifestyle, which includes an addiction “to the escape of sex and men.”
When things begin to really unravel, though, Winona reaches out to a therapist and even joins a support group, which a previously released clip from the movie showed.
“I don’t really believe anyone knows how they’re doing this life thing,” she says in the trailer. “I guess what I’m going to do is accept all that comes with the path that I am choosing, the unconventional path.”
The 1998-set film, which made its world premiere at the AFI Film Festival and is part of MTV’s newly launched Mental Health Is Health initiative, marks Oxford’s feature-length directorial debut. It’s based on her essay, “No Real Danger,” which appeared in her second book, When You Find Out the World Is Against You.
“Pink Skies Ahead is loosely based on events that occurred when I was 19 years old,” Oxford, a New York Times best-selling author, says. “It is a manifestation and reckoning with my own anxiety struggles. Purely out of self-protection, I’ve spent my life creating a firmly independent exterior surface that does not reflect my inner turmoil or compulsive and obsessive worried thoughts.”
“As a 42-year-old woman, I’m still grappling with shame and denial of my own inner workings as an anxious person,” she adds. “The catharsis of writing and directing Pink Skies Ahead was a huge step in accepting myself. And I hope our film helps others feel less shame in their “not normal” feelings than I did.”
The film also stars Mary J. Blige, Devon Bostick, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael McKean, Lewis Pullman, Evan Ross Cameron, Odeya Rush, Rosa Salazar and Henry Winkler.
Pink Skies Ahead will premiere commercial-free on Saturday, May 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV with a simulcast on Pop TV.
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