Check out the first look clip from Golden Globe® Award-winning actor, producer, and director Steve Buscemi’s upcoming film THE LISTENER, which is an ode to the selfless individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty, and more specifically, about the mental health helpline volunteers, who lend an empathetic ear to those most in need of emotional support.
THE LISTENER, which had its North American premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, is a moving testament to the power of empathy in which the entire film follows one character: Beth, played by Tessa Thompson. Thompson’s performance as a Phone Helpline worker interacting with unseen strangers on a night shift (featuring the voices of Rebecca Hall, Alia Shawkat, Margaret Cho, and others) is incredibly nuanced and deeply felt. As we watch Beth deal with their most private problems, anxieties, and fears, the audience only hears their voices.
The film hopes to draw attention to mental health workers across the country who are available to assist those in need, as well as to 988, which has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline) and is now operational throughout the United States.
When people dial, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors who are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and, if necessary, connect them to resources.