Model Childhood, by director Tim Mercier, has been announced as the winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

Already announced as the winner of the ‘Personal Narrative’ prize, Tim Mercier’s short film is a brave and deeply personal documentary about his own experience of childhood sexual trauma. The film uses clay animation to recreate key moments as Tim tells his story.

Tim Mercier said: ‘It’s a really homemade film, I didn’t have the capacity to ask other people to help me make it professionally, so I just used the tools that were around me at home. I turned the camera to film myself, and because I began filming myself thinking and talking about my experience as a child, I began to look online for films about men who’ve experienced childhood sexual trauma. I found a few: there were lots about heroic journalism, uncovering institutional enablement of childhood sexual abuse and very few that were pointed at, what I’d learned to call myself, which was a survivor. I thought well, maybe with the stuff that I’m filming at home, maybe I can make a film that can connect with other men like me who struggle to find a way of telling a story that is filmed with shame and guilt, and needlessly so.’

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, SMHAF Arts Lead and Jury Member said: “Each year our Film Awards Jury chooses one of our ten winning films for special commendation. It is always a difficult choice, and all of this year’s winners are very impactful in their own way, but all of us agreed that Model Childhood in particular is a film that stays with you long after you’ve seen it. In making this extraordinary and visceral but also deeply sensitive and thoughtful film, Tim has found a way of processing an incredibly traumatic, life-changing experience in a way that is powerful, inventive, and unforgettable.”

Tim Mercier is a director, writer and producer who has worked on EastEnders, Night and Day and Holby City as well as making his own films, including Waxwing, The Rope Trick and Auta Da Fe.

Model Childhood screens at CCA, Glasgow, this Saturday as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival’s Documentary Shorts programme. Tim’s previous short films can be viewed at