The third week of SMHAF 2020 is now live! 

We are thrilled to celebrate our biggest online programme yet, headlined by the remarkable Electrolyte by Wildcard Theatre and a programme of three short films exploring the theme of Kindness to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, including Hannah Currie's award-winning That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

For artists and filmmakers, we are offering two opportunities to engage in conversation with other creative professionals about strategies for stability in this uncertain time. Eat. Move. Sleep. Repeat., curated by Emma Jayne Park and Emily Furneaux, launches with a workshop led by Emilie Baltz exploring food, self-care and creative practice, while Filmmakers In Isolation features presentations by Rebecca Day of Film in Mind, and SMHAF 2019 award-winner Tim Mercier on the unique challenges posedd by the pandemic.

This week also sees our biggest community-led programme yet, with new ways to get involved from across Scotland. 

This Week

Theatre

This week, we are thrilled to present Electrolyte by Wildcard Theatre, an exhilarating piece of gig theatre which won the Mental Health Fringe Award in 2018.

Electrolyte has become something of a phenomenon since it premiered at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe, where it quickly became a sold out hit. Since then, it has won numerous theatre prizes, completed an ambitious three-month UK-wide tour, and returned to the Fringe for a second run. This is a remarkable story for a show about a woman enduring a psychotic episode during which she abandons all the people who love her. Electrolyte’s strength, though, is that it is fundamentally a show about friendship – it is Jessie’s loyal, understanding friends who help her through one of the most difficult times in her life. Also, the songs are terrific.

Speaking about the impact of the show, writer James Meteyard said: "It has been a way for some people to be able to communicate their own experience to loved ones, it has given others the courage to accept an experience which happened to them in the past but they had never spoken about, and it has allowed many to feel that they are not alone in their experiences and are absolutely fine just the way they are."

Electrolyte is showing until 12pm on Monday 25 May. It is free to watch online here but you can support the festival by booking a pay what you can ticket here. 

Eat. Sleep. Move. Repeat.

At this time of collective uncertainty Eat. Move. Sleep. Repeat. is an opportunity to come together and discuss strategies for stability. How can we find our own equilibrium when the ground is constantly moving beneath us?

Join Emma Jayne Park, Emily Furneaux and a group of invited artists as they create space to talk, think, collaborate and question how we can use a creative practice to find play in notions of self-care.

The first week’s session is led by Emilie Baltz, best known for her delightful innovation work in food and technology, and her use of food as a medium (and metaphor) for designing experience. Emilie is based in New York City, is a founding member of NEW INC, the first museum led incubator hosted at the New Museum, and is also part of the founding faculty of the School of Visual Arts Products of Design MFA program.

Book your place here.

Film

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, we present three short films that explore the nature of Kindness and its impact. You can also join us for an informal discussion with some of the filmmakers, which will take place on Zoom at the usual time of 8.30pm on Thursday. Register for a place here

Winner of the Short Documentary award at SMHAF 2020, the new film from BAFTA award-winning documentary maker Hannah Currie is available to watch online for one day only. After a devastating brain injury that leaves him with memory loss, Paul is compelled to repeat the same jokes over and over again, while his wife Lindsay cares for him along with taking on the responsibilities of their day-to-day life. Register for a ticket here to watch That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore. A private link to view the film will be sent out ahead of the screening period, from 12pm-midnight on Thursday 20 May. 

The remaining two films will be available to watch here from now until 12pm next Monday. Troubles, winner of the Short Drama award, is an evocative story of redemption between two old friends set against the backdrop of tensions in Northern Ireland. Director Jonathan Harden said that the team "set out to tell a truthful story about male mental health". Grace, New Zealand drama directed by James Page, follows its teenage protagonist as she questions whether she will ever the help she needs for her anxiety attacks. 

At a time when we've never been more aware of the vulnerability of our species and the fragility of our social connections, all three of these shorts explore the nature of kindness and its impact.

Filmmakers in Isolation

At the end of the second week of UK lockdown, American author Bryann Andreá tweeted, "This is a pandemic. Not a productivity contest." Retweeted over 97,000 times, her observation clearly hit a nerve. When the pressure to produce creative work can be at odds with how to best take care of ourselves, how do we balance our practice to serve, not threaten, our mental health? When is being productive actually destructive?

Join Rebecca Day and Tim Mercier as we discuss the unique challenges the pandemic presents to creative practice and mental health, whether working alone or with collaborators. Rebecca Day is a documentary maker and person-centred psychotherapist, offering counselling and consulting services to film practitioners through her organisation Film In Mind. Filmmaker Tim Mercier won the SMHAF 2019 Personal Narrative Award for his film, Model Childhood, and has been working on an improvised comedy series, Monitor Lizards, throughout lockdown.

Book your place here

Community Programme

The team behind Out of Sight, Out of Mind host their annual Afternoon Tea, which this year takes place on Zoom on Wednesday at 2pm. Bring your own hot drink and sweet treat and join in the conversation with artists and organisers behind the exhibition, which will return to Summerhall in October 2020. CAPS Advocacy will also be launching Unlocked Art Gallery, a digital exhibition space to showcase art created by people with lived experience of mental health issues in Edinburgh & Lothians. 

This evening, the Mental Health Movie Monthly team at Robert Gordon University present an online discussion inspired by the film District 9. Join in the conversation on Twitter. And on Saturday, you can join in with Saturday Art Club at GoMA, which this week is inspired by David Hockney's Photography is Dead; Long Live Painting. Find beauty in the everyday by creating your own still life, and catch up with previous activities with your children on their blog. 

You can also join the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution’s online workshop that will explore the theme of perspectives.

There is also new work in our SMHAF at Home gallery by Dougie Soutar and Random Switch, and you can find full listings for the week at mhfestival.com/2020

We are delighted to be partnering with the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival (NIMHAF) for 2020. 

We hope you can join us for many of these events. Please help us spread the word by sharing our events with friends and family and let us know what you think on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is led by the Mental Health Foundation