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Barrie teen directs film inspired by Alice in Wonderland

Arianna Goarley hopes The Tea Party raises awareness about ADHD, anxiety

The Tea Party is an innovative and inspiring short film that was written and directed by 16-year-old Barrie-based filmmaker Arianna Goarley of With Grace Productions (who wrote this screenplay at age 15).

A reimagining of the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland, this fresh take on the popular fable is told from the perspective of a young Alice who suffers from ADHD. Arianna was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and ADHD three years ago.

Since then she has been working hard to advocate for mental health and neurodiversity, which led to the writing of this very special film. She hopes the film will heighten mental health awareness, with an emphasis on ADHD and anxiety disorders.

Arianna explains, “Alice becomes anxious when her friends arrive early to her tea party. As her anxiety peaks, it triggers the characteristics of her ADHD to take on the form of characters from the classic fairy tale. Will Alice be able to find the coping skills to make her tea party a success?”

The cast features Azari Ollivierre, Anna Goldsmith, Andrea Matei, Lyrik Alkema and Geoeigh Wehby, with Noah Hollinshead as the film’s director of photography, Olivia Ferguson as crew, and Marissa Brown as hair and makeup artist.

The Tea Party is currently being submitted to national and international film festivals.