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“Succession” star J. Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi are among the notables who signed on for “The Year Between,” a drama about mental illness that marks the feature writing and directing debut of comedian Alex Heller.

The movie, which wrapped production in Chicago late last month, revolves around Heller’s character Clemence, a young woman who drops out of college in her sophomore year after being diagnosed with mental illness. The story is based on Heller’s real-life experience in 2012. Heller is a former Sundance Institute Feature Film program fellow and an alumnus of Tribeca Film Institute.

“The Year Between” was produced by Level Forward, Full Spectrum Features and Chicago Media Angels. Producers are Amanda Phillips, Sonya Lunsford, Eugene Sun Park, Caterin Camargo-Alvarez, and Rachel Gould. Susanna Fogel, Adrienne Becker and HaJ are executive producers. Producers are shopping the film for possible theatrical distribution as well as to streamers.

” ‘The Year Between’s’ heartbreakingly funny ode to adolescence, parenting, friendship and the emotional rollercoaster of a family just trying to keep it together, will help normalize conversations about mental illness,” said Becker, CEO of Level Forward. “And because of ‘The Year Between’s’ dedicated cast and crew, audiences will have a chance to be similarly inspired by Alex Heller’s much needed honesty about mental health, wrapped in her formidable creative talents.”

Heller is known for her standup comedy and for short films including “24 and Pregnant” and “Grizzlies.” in addition to Smith-Cameron and Buscemi, additional cast members include Emily Robinson, Wyatt Oleff and Kyanna Simone.

CAA and ICM Partners are repping the film. Heller is represented by Mosaic and lawyers Gregg Gellman and Ashley Nissenberg of Morris Yorn.

Level Forward is known for producing issue-oriented movies such as 2019’s “The Assistant.” The plan is to develop companion materials to spur conversation about the need for greater awareness around mental health diagnoses.