In February, the Georgia House of Representatives recognized writer and director Tamlin Hall with an invitation resolution. Hall was acknowledged for his film, Holden On—the true story of Holden Layfield, a Georgia teen who suffered from mental illness and, tragically, took his own life—as well as his ongoing arts, education and humanities initiatives through the non-profit, iamholdenon.org.
Rep. Randy Nix, Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, was instrumental in bringing the invitation resolution before the house. He also introduced Tamlin Hall to the House, saying, “This is a true story about a young man by the name of Holden Layfield, who struggled with mental illness and tragically took his own life as a teenager. This film has received significant critical acclaim both for the quality of the film and how Tamlin has masterfully and sensitively addressed the mental health and teen-suicide issue with honesty and grace.”
Chairman Nix went on to read the last paragraph of the resolution: “Now, therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives that the members of this body recognize and commend Tamlin Hall for his new film, Holden On, his inspirational efforts to remind those with mental illness that they are never beyond help or hope, and his spectacular career [exemplifying] the very best of LaGrange and of Georgia.”
Speaking before the House, Hall talked of his friend, Holden, and his own continuing commitment to help bring more awareness to mental-health issues. “This film is about my friend, and it means the world to me because he had more humanity than anybody else that I have ever met. And he helped save my life because I was bullied… This film is not about the awards, it’s not about the accolades, it’s not about my service to my career or anything like that. It is for her son, it is for your sons and your daughters, and your granddaughters and everybody else that feels alone in this world...
“It’s time to stand up for mental-health awareness and talk about teen suicide in a real and honest way, because we are all in this together. Humanity will win. Georgia is the greatest state in the country, the Georgia film industry
helped me do this, the LaGrange community said yes, everybody in Georgia said yes to this, and this is why we are all Holden On today.”
Holden On premiered at the 2017 Atlanta Film Festival, winning the Feature Film Audience Award before going on to win numerous awards at other festivals. This summer, Holden On will tour the United States, helping to promote
mental-health awareness and suicide prevention. The iamholdingon.org tour will be filmed as a documentary and released sometime later this year.
Meanwhile, Tamlin Hall is currently co-writing the film adaptation of a #1 New York Times bestselling book, A Child Called “It”, for the Emmy-winning production company, FOR GOOD.