Amanda Lipp is a documentary filmmaker specializing in mental health and social impact. She is passionate about connecting films to larger strategies to improve mental health services, reduce stigma, and influence policy. Amanda has produced over 70 short films with clients around the U.S. and globe - from national mental health organizations, to independent entrepreneurs looking to share their story. Amanda's empathy and lived experience drives her creativity.

Check out my films and behind-the-scenes below!

ReBuilding Butte

A short documentary that follows a tiny home building project for fire survivors of the deadliest fire in CA history.

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NYC Youth Psychosis

A short narrative series about youth's experience coping with psychosis.

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Teens, Mental Health & Social Media

A short series featuring researchers' solutions about digital wellness.

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Empathy Produced

Amanda is mindful that interviewees are often sharing personal stories, or educating about topics that they care deeply about. Amanda has been on both sides of the camera, so she gets it. As a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Amanda upholds herself to ethical journalism - especially, "give voice to the voiceless".

Production best-practices include:

  • Consent and collaboration
  • Trauma-informed
  • Strategic sharing
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Person centered
  • Identity driven

This short film is my personal favorite. A story about Drew’s experience with psychosis in NYC. Check out the full film learn more about the NYC Youth Psychosis project below.

Here’s how I started and some interviews I’ve done:.

Creative Collaboration

On every film, Amanda works closely with clients, interviewees, and relevant organizations to maximize impact. She believes creating a film is a discovery process, and an opportunity to build relationships and give voice to underrepresented stories.

Production steps:

  • Kick-off: vision, goals, audience, timeline, budget
  • Pre-production: storyboarding and scripting
  • Production: interviews and footage
  • Post-production: media management, editing, review rounds
  • Promotion: marketing and distribution

Amanda has worked with

Theory to Creativity:

Filmmaking is an art and science. Amanda's creative approach is grounded in social psychology, entertainment-education, and systems change theory. Essentially, the goal is to deliver prosocial health messages to positively influencing awareness, knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors.

For example:

  • Transportation Theory (Green & Brock)
    • The extent that individuals are absorbed into a story (identification)
  • The Identification Scale (Cohen)
    • The extent to which viewers identify with a character
  • Entertainment Overcoming Resistance Model (Moyer-Guse).
    • The narrative format increases absorption in the drama, reducing resistance to the messaging.
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty, Cacioppo, Shrum)
    • Immersive engagement making it easier to influence beliefs, attitudes, and behavior.
  • Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura)
    • The most commonly applied theory in the area of entertainment-education

Film Ambassador

Amanda believes films are a movement and call to action. She is a passionate ambassador of her films and the causes and organizations they represent. She leverages her public speaking platform to raise awareness on a larger scale. Since age 18, she has given over 150 speeches across the globe on filmmaking, mental health recovery, and social entrepreneurship.

NYC Youth Psychosis Program

A short series with OnTrackNY within Columbia University Medical Center. These films showcase young people’s stories of mental health recovery.

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Teens & Digital Wellness

A short series with Technology and Adolescent Mental Wellness program (TAM) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Pediatrics. These films showcase youth and researchers tackling the intersection of teens, tech, and wellness.

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ReBuilding Butte: A Short Documentary

This film follows a heartfelt tiny house building project in response to the deadliest fire in California history in 2018 – The Camp Fire – that destroyed Paradise and surrounding Butte County communities.

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How Amanda Makes Films

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Blogs

CALL TO MIND Spotlight on Rethinking Mental Health Care

America’s Fractured Mental Healthcare System Amidst the New Norm

About one in five US adults cannot afford the mental healthcare they need, a grim reality exacerbated by COVID-19 and[...]

Tiny Homes for Camp Fire Survivors | Amanda Lipp

How it started: Rebuilding Butte Short Documentary

When I first heard about the tiny home building project to help California fire survivors, I signed up to volunteer[...]

Drew's Story With Schizophrenia | Amanda Lipp

Drew’s Story With Schizophrenia

Drew was studying media and film at Bronx Community College when he first experienced the symptoms. He was hearing things[...]

Using Technology To Support Adolescent Mental Wellness

Using Technology To Support Adolescent Mental Wellness

The Technology and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing Program (TAM), a philanthropically sponsored research initiative led by the efforts of the Social[...]

Mental Health Innovation

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