Maxwell Gray Film Fellowship

Produce Work That Matters.

About The Program

The Maxwell Gray Film Fellowship program promotes student mental health by producing original video content. This summer, the program will have two undergraduate fellows to aid in the development, recruitment, production, post-production, and dissemination of brief videos on mental health. These videos will feature special high school and college student populations (e.g. students of color, LGBTQ students, graduate students, transfer students, students in recovery, student veterans), and aim to increase knowledge of depression and related illnesses, reduce stigma, and increase help-seeking.

The Maxwell Gray Summer Fellowship is led by the University of Michigan Depression Center (UMDC) and an external professional producer. Support for this project is provided by the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, given in memory of Maxwell A. Gray, and matched 1:1 by the Eisenberg Collaborative Innovations Fund at the UMDC. 


  • Maxwell Gray FellowRyan Lynch, undergraduate student, University of Michigan
  • Ryan Lynch is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Michigan where he studied Film, Television, and Visual Media as well as Communications and Media Studies. In his free time, Ryan enjoys playing guitar, writing, and watching movies.
  • Maxwell Gray FellowMitchell Salley, undergraduate student, University of Michigan
  • Mitchell Salley is a rising senior in the “Film, Television, and Media” and “Communications and Media” departments, with a minor in “Business.” Outside of his studies, Mitchell is a member of the Residential College Players and M-Agination Films, and he is an Eagle Scout.

The 2020 team is currently brainstorming its film planning for the summer with a fall film release planned.


Max Gray
Maxwell Gray

About Maxwell Gray

In memory of her son, Laurie Davis Gray established the Max Gray Fund for Depression Research at UCLA in 2014, while the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation went on to support this film project at U-M in 2016. Max Gray was passionate about film, art and music. He graduated from the Gallatin School at New York University in 2010 and worked as an associate at OddLot Entertainment, an American motion picture production company based out of Los Angeles. In August 2013, Max died from depression at the age of 25.


A Friend's Thoughts by Adam Saewitz

gray max

Max was a huge cinephile. His love of film, music and the interweaving of the two were a part of practically every conversation he and I shared. We met in a class called "The History of Hip Hop" which was taught at the Clive Davis Department of Music at New York University. From that semester onwards, Max and I would meet frequently and dissect albums, films and music videos ad nauseam, especially that of the hip hop variety.

Max always had a magical capacity to find correlations between a film, a piece of literature or a record. He read and absorbed art voraciously and I always admired his capacity to reference such a rich depth of films and music and literature so effortlessly. You could ask him about a piece of art and he'd talk your head off about it. He had so many opinions about the work of the art and he had so many rich feelings about it too. I miss that about him so much. All that he loved, he loved to his core and his passion for the arts was so much a part of what made him great.


  • Maxwell Gray LeadCharles Pelham-Ashley, Senior Producer, Michigan-Dearborn '12
  • Maxwell Gray FellowErin Burke, undergraduate student, University of Michigan
  • Maxwell Gray FellowFrank Allen, undergraduate student, University of Michigan

The 2019 team produced two videos addressing mental health issues with Michigan graduates. One video was about substance abuse and another was about anxiety and identity.


  • Maxwell Gray Fellow: Carver Diserens, MFA student, Columbia University
  • Maxwell Gray Intern: Rachel Banks, undergraduate student, University of Michigan
  • Maxwell Gray Intern: Carly Angott, undergraduate student, Eastern Michigan University

The 2017 team focused on what it would look like if we treated physical health like mental health.

Watch their video, Break a Leg.


Film Team

  • Maxwell Gray Fellow: Cameron Quevedo, documentary filmmaker and MFA student, University of Texas, Austin
  • Maxwell Gray Intern: Lyntoria Newton, MFA student, Stanford University
  • Maxwell Gray Intern: S. Elyse Shultz, undergraduate student, University of Michigan

The 2016 team focused on the impact of mindfulness and meditation on student mental health.

See their videos.