Two of the greatest challenges in life are depression and insecurity. Director, writer, producer, and lead actor Kabir McNeely delves deep into the dilemmas of depression and insecurity in his short film Devon.

Devon revolves around the title character (portrayed by McNeely) who is celebrating his seventeenth birthday with his mother Janice (Emily Steelhammer) and best friend Cameron (Maximilian Itsikson). Devon recently lost his father and is feeling depressed ever since that loss (according to a birthday card from his mom). In order to try and become more open and active, Devon attempts to connect more with Cameron by going to the movies together and attending other friendly gatherings.

However, not only is Devon depressed over his father’s loss but he’s also suffering from anxiety and obesity due to an eating disorder. These issues cause Devon to be very insecure about his body and concerned about what others think regarding the way he looks. He desperately avoids eating and exercises to lose weight, but no matter how hard he tries to get better, Devon’s conflicts negatively affect his friendship with Cameron and his strained relationship with his mom.

Devon is an emotional and sensitive story about a young man who is going through several personal obstacles in his life and is uncertain over how to improve his health and open up to those closest to him. McNeely delivers a heartfelt performance as Devon, fully exhibiting the protagonist’s emotional state of depression and insecurity. These are particularly shown in scenes where Devon constantly looks at himself in the mirror, expressing self-doubt and worry as he analyzes his own body because he wonders how Cameron and his other buddies will view him.

The film also efficiently tackles the negative effects of social media, especially when Devon reads over the comments under a selfie taken by Cameron with him and Devon in the picture. Devon sees that the comments negatively criticize him and his physical appearance. When Devon asks Cameron to take the photo down, Cameron refuses because it’s his most liked photo, and this angers Devon since the comments make him feel degraded. Devon and Cameron try to have a friendly relationship, but Cameron doesn’t like Devon’s unwillingness to open up, while Devon feels insecure when he’s around anyone due to lack of trust.

As Cameron, Itsikson’s performance is intriguing and two-sided. There are moments where he seems to care about Devon and wants to be his friend, as well as moments that makes Devon and the audience question whether Cameron takes their friendship seriously, or if he’s just toying with Devon’s feelings.

Janice is also a crucial component to the protagonist’s dilemmas because she desperately wants him to open up. But Devon refuses to talk or eat with her because he doesn’t want to burden her with his problems. Steelhammer’s performance as Janice is one of a parent who deeply cares about her son, but she’s also a frustrated character because she gets upset with him when he refuses to seek help from others regarding his eating disorder or other problems.

Devon may be a difficult film to watch due to the sensitive subject matter, but it’s an important film. Anyone who has deep personal health issues should seek help and support from others, especially family and friends. The film reminds us that individuals should never be judged by the way they look.




Two of the greatest challenges in life are depression and insecurity. Director, writer, producer, and lead actor Kabir McNeely delves deep into the dilemmas of

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