Cheryl McGeachan writes: On Wednesday the 24th October the sixth Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival Awards were held in Edinburgh. This was my second visit to the awards and once again I was overwhelmed by the talent and bravery displayed in the pieces. As the lights in the cinema were dimmed and the reels of film began to play it was evident that the films shown at this festival embody both the pain and fear of individuals experiencing mental illness but also the incredibly inspiring aspects of individuals finding ways to live on in their everyday worlds.
The awards were split into seven categories – best educational documentary, best animation, best personal narrative, best short drama, best long drama, best short documentary and best long documentary – and the quality of the winners in each of these was exceptional. Some of the themes covered included children and grief (All That Glisters), identity, stigma and discrimination (Transvisions), memory and personal histories (The Winner Loser), Alzheimer’s disease (Pollicino), family tragedy and friendship (Colour), asylum legacies (Maraquita) and many more (click here for details).
The films, for me, are moving and inspiring; a real indication about the importance of listening carefully to those experiencing mental illness at a range of different scales, and a reminder to continue to fight for better provision, care and understanding for everyone who requires it.
See Cheryl’s review of Luke Fowler’s Turner-prize nominated documentary about R D Laing “All Divided Selves” here.