The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has held its annual International Film Awards since 2007. The ceremony takes place during May at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. 

The films honoured over the years explore mental health, and the various ways this term can be understood and reflected, encouraging innovative and diverse perspectives. If you would like to submit a film to the festival, please visit our FilmFreeway page.

Previous award winners including THAT JOKE ISN’T FUNNY ANYMORE (Hannah Currie, 2020), EVELYN (Orlando Von Einsiedel, 2019), IRENE’S GHOST (Iain Cunningham, 2019), SUMMER, 1993 (Carla Simón, 2017), BECOMING CARY GRANT (Mark Kidel, 2017), and A FAMILY AFFAIR (Tom Fassaert, 2015). 

2020 Winners

ANIMATION

My Dad’s Name Was Huw. He Was An Alcoholic Poet., Freddie Griffiths, UK, 7m

An insightful animated documentary short unravelling the state of mind of the director's late alcoholic father through the poems he left behind.

COMMUNITY & GRAND JURY PRIZE

DELTA 7EVEN, Rosie Baldwin, UK, 45m

A post-punk band made up of adults with learning disabilities discover their resilience, united strength and the power of creativity following the heartbreaking death of one of their mentors.

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

Born To Be, Tania Cypriano, USA, 92m

A powerful documentary focusing on transgender and non-binary people's experiences with mental health, stigma and human rights from the perspective of patients of groundbreaking surgeon Dr Jess Ting.

FEATURE DRAMA 

Certified Mail, Hisham Saqr, Egypt, 95m

When her husband is sent to prison following a mistake at work, Hala is left alone to deal with her depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as looking after her baby.

HUMAN RIGHTS 

Tangle, Maliheh Gholamzadeh, Iran, 8m

A beautiful animation about people who are forced to leave their homes and loved ones behind in war and the threads that keep them connected.

PERSONAL NARRATIVE 

Home, Jen Randall & Sarah Outen, UK, 91m

A soulful documentary following Sarah Outen as she travels over 20,000 miles by human power alone, taking her to the mental and physical brink.

PERSPECTIVES AWARD

I’ll Love You Till The End, Bex Singleton, UK, 30m

Through recounting her own experience of her father’s suicide, and capturing revealing interviews with mothers, sisters and brothers, director Bex Singleton opens a window into what happens for those left behind when someone takes their own life.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY 

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, Hannah Currie, UK, 12m

An emotional documentary exploring whether Lindsay's love for her husband Paul can sustain her through the trauma of his brain injury, which leaves him in a perpetual loop of joke telling.

SHORT DRAMA 

Troubles, Jonathan Harden & Bronágh Taggart, Ireland, 11m

When a troubled traditional Irish musician reenters the fold after a long absence, his emotionally stunted friend wants to offer an apology.

VOICES OF EXPERIENCE 

The Voices From Inside, Elina Chared, France, 25m

A portrait of Marianne, a woman who fights to live with the voices she hears inside her, while supporting others in her community as they navigate their own journeys with mental health.

 

2019 Winners

ANIMATION

Herman Brown is Feeling Down, Dan Castro, UK, 6m

Anxiety noisily interrupts a simple life in this colourful musical animation, created using digital and traditional techniques.

ANTI-STIGMA 

Evelyn, Orlando Von Einsiedel, UK, 95m

Twelve years after the suicide of his younger brother, a director and his family walk the length of the UK in an attempt to come to terms with their grief.

COMMUNITY

An Open Door, Aoise Tutty Jackson, Ireland, 15m

A vibrant documentary set in a pioneering community space, which comes alive through music, performance and shared experiences.

EXPERIMENTAL 

On Exile, fragments in search of meaning, Jose Carlos Texeira, USA, 47m

Attentiveness to structure and form creates space for individual voices, as ten people share their stories about living with depression.

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 

Irene’s Ghost, Iain Cunningham, UK, 79m

A son unravels his family’s silence to find out what happened to his mother, who died when he was three but lives on in his imagination.

MID-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY 

The Song and the Sorrow, Millefiore Clarkes, Canada, 44m

A folk singer prepares to pay tribute to her legendary father, who took his own life after a long-term struggle with depression.

PERSONAL NARRATIVE & GRAND JURY PRIZE

Model Childhood, Tim Mercier, UK, 19m

An autobiographical, partly animated, documentary about a filmmaker striving for a better future as a survivor of childhood sexual trauma.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY 

We Are All Here, Hannah Currie, UK, 23m

A hip-hop community comes together to talk about their issues and challenge stigma after the suicide of a much-loved rapper.

SHORT DRAMA 

I Love You, Victoria Thompson, Australia, 16m

Improvised drama filmed with a real life couple, exploring the impact that mental instability can have on a relationship.

VOICES OF EXPERIENCE 

Asylum, Jefta Varwijk and Jaap Van Heusden, Netherlands, 23m

Poetic and revealing documentary in which a man recounts his experiences with psychosis as he prepares to leave a psychiatric hospital.

 

2018 Award Winners

ANIMATION

Maybe It's Me, Dimitris Simou, UK, 6m

COMMUNITY

Riding Through the Dark, Katrina Brown, UK, 17m

EXPERIMENTAL

below the neck, above the knees, Desiree Dawn Kapler, USA, 12m

FEATURE DRAMA & GRAND JURY PRIZE

Horizon, Giancarlo Sanchez, Netherlands, 49m

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 

Crazy, Lise Zumwalt, USA, 60m

PERSONAL NARRATIVE

Sanctioned, Dominique Murphy - de Neef, UK, 10m

SHORT DOCUMENTARY 

Rocknrollers, Daan Bol, Netherlands, 24m

SHORT DRAMA 

Being Keegan, Stephanie Zari, UK, 22m

VOICES OF EXPERIENCE

Lou Bëth Xayma, Piniang, Abdoulaye Armin Kane and Sébastien Demeffe, Belgium, 14m

YOUTH PERSPECTIVE 

But Honey, You Look Fine, Jenn Leonforte, Australia, 10m

 

2017 Award Winners

ANIMATION

The Waves, Oscar Lewis, UK, 5m.

COMMUNITY

Gambling With Minds, Genevieve Clay-Smith, Australia, 10m

EXPERIMENTAL

Waterfall, Tom Lock Griffiths, UK, 19m

FEATURE DRAMA & GRAND JURY PRIZE

Summer, 1993, Carla Simón, Spain, 96m

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 

Becoming Cary Grant, Mark Kidel, France, UK, USA, 95m

HUMAN RIGHTS

Coping, Edem Dotse, Ghana, 14m

MID-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY 

Vivian, Vivian, Ingrid Kamerling, Netherlands, 54m

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Hum, Nathan Fagan, Ireland, 19m

SHORT DRAMA 

Y, Gina Wenzel, Germany, 24m

VOICES OF EXPERIENCE

Spike, Ian Tierney, UK, 10m

YOUTH PERSPECTIVE 

OverLove, Lucas Helth Postma, Denmark, 22m

 

2016 Award Winners

ANIMATION

Lima, Afshin Roshanbahkt & Vahid Jafari, Iran, 2016, 15m

A gorgeous stop motion short about a son’s struggle to keep the memory of his father alive, with an evocative score by Icelandic composer Stein Thor.

ANTI-STIGMA

TRANSition, Robert Cunningham, Ireland, 2016, 16m

A brave and honest documentary about a young transgender man from Ireland and his on-going struggle with dysphoria.

EXPERIMENTAL

Shoulder The Lion, Erinnisse Rebisz & Patryk Rebisz, USA, France, Ireland, Poland, 2015

An innovative and visually arresting documentary following three people who lost everything and used the power of art to reinvent their futures.

FEATURE DRAMA

David, Jan Těšitel, Czech Republic, 2015, 78m

A stunning debut about a troubled young man who leaves the suffocating security of his family in a precarious search for independence, with a remarkable break-through performance by Patrik Holubar.

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 

A Family Affair, Tom Fassaert, Netherlands, Denmark, 2015, 111m

Riveting yet tender, a masterful exposure of disquieting secrets as the director confronts his 95-year-old grandmother with her actions and how they caused the family to unravel.

HUMAN RIGHTS

#MYESCAPE, Elke Sasse, Germany, 2016, 90m

A gripping documentary using footage shot by refugees on their mobile phones intercut with interviews that connect the outer journeys they went on with the ones that took place within.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

One Foot In Reality, Ramtin Nikzad, USA, 2016, 11m

A woman’s unflinching account of the devastating effects sexual abuse and schizophrenia have had on her life as a young girl and a mother.

SHORT DRAMA

crISIS, Ali Kareem Obaid, Iraq, Italy, 2015, 10m

A searing account of a man who is burdened by grief and post-traumatic stress after losing his wife to a suicide bomb in Baghdad.

VOICES OF EXPERIENCE (SPONSORED BY VOX SCOTLAND)

I Wish I Was That Bird, Jeffrey Krolick, USA, 2015, 50m

A candid portrait of outsider artist James Condos, filmed over a period of three years, following him as he opens up about childhood trauma and seeks to find his place in the community.

YOUTH PROJECT 

Talk It Out, St. Paul's High School (Glasgow), Into Film, UK, 2015

A heart-warming drama written and directed by Glasgow students about challenging mental health stigma among their school peers.

Born To Be, Tania Cypriano