Patrick James Lynch Gives Advice to Filmmakers and Discusses His Documentary ‘Let’s Talk’

Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with filmmaker and healthcare advocate Patrick James Lynch about his documentary Let’s Talk. The film brings awareness to hemophilia and other blood disorders as well as the mental health challenges that often burden those managing these illnesses. Lynch also offered advice to budding filmmakers. Here’s what he had to say.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What do you hope viewers will take away from this film?

movie theatre | Sean Gallup/Getty Images
movie theatre | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Patrick James Lynch: I hope viewers will resonate with any of the many stories, points of view, and reflections that are shared by the honest and vulnerable characters in the film. I hope it helps viewers lean into their own mental health journey, to realize they are not alone, and to consider some ideas, tools, and resources introduced through the film.

For viewers who have a loved one who is challenged by mental illness, I hope Let’s Talk helps them feel better equipped to provide support and space for that person.

CS: What advice would you give to those who want to be filmmakers?

PJL: Know your answer to “why?” Why do you want to be a filmmaker? Being a creative professional of any kind is very challenging. I can really only speak about my specific path, but what I come back to when things are most difficult is the why. Why am I doing this? What is the mission? What is the purpose of this work?

If the purpose of the work was to be a filmmaker, then I think I would have quit by now, but the purpose is something more important than that. Filmmaking, for me, is simply my means whereby I do my work and showcase human experiences that encourage people to view themselves and others a little differently, a little deeper. That’s what keeps me driven.

The ‘why’ leads me to produce work that people respond to powerfully and emotionally. Then that personal feedback keeps me going, so I keep working, and the circle of life goes on! So that’s the number one thing: know your why.

Also, filmmaking is a team sport, every time. On this team, Mental Health Matters Too (MHMT) and Debbie de la Riva were critical. Director Rob Bradford safely helming production through COVID-19 was crucial and incredible, and tremendous credit is owed to Sanofi Genzyme for making Let’s Talk possible.

Jane Cavanaugh Smith and her team have worked diligently to help my team and me execute Let’s Talk in a way that has protected its authentic voice and enabled it to truly make an impact on patients, families, and providers. I’m grateful for the extraordinary partnership.

CS: Anything to add?

PJL: Let’s Talk screens virtually, for free, on October 10th (#WorldMentalHealthDay) at 7:00 p.m. EST and will be followed by a stacked talkback, featuring guests from Global Genes, The Mighty, Courageous Parents Network, DISORDER: The Rare Disease Film Festival, and Mental Health Matters Too.

I expect this to be a powerful 90-minute event, and all are welcome to attend! Register (for free) by following the banner link at!

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