Three short films exploring women’s experiences with mental health issues. Stand Still (Isabella Wing-Davey) is a hard-hitting drama about a doctor with severe postnatal depression; High Flying Jade (Katherine Sweetman) is a unique documentary about an aerialist training for her first performance in a big top circus in Vietnam; and The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Belle Krupcheck) is an experimental autobiographical film about coming out, self-harm and recovery.

The films are available to view until Monday 20 July at 12pm . Join us for a Zoom discussion on Thursday 16 July at 8.30pm with directors Isabella Wing-Davey, Katherine Sweetman and Belle Krupcheck. Register for your place here.

The films include captions for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences. BSL interpretation will be available for the discussion.

Programme notes

Spanning a wide range of experiences, these films get to the core of women who are caught between their inner conflicts and unforgiving, demanding environments, struggling to be their authentic selves

Stand Still follows Susannah, a doctor suffering from post-natal depression after the birth of her first son. Unable to talk to her husband, it is left to Susannah's colleague, Rupa, who notices her distress, to try and reach out to her. Isabella Wing-Davey deftly shows the relentless toll of caring for a newborn on both body and mind, along with the everyday extremes of loneliness and dilemma surrounding sharing disturbing thoughts. Leads Zoe Tapper and Michelle Bonnard, who also co-wrote the film, give restrained, gripping performances, bringing focus to an all-too common yet little discussed area of parenthood.

In The Stories We Tell Ourselves, artist Belle Krupcheck tells us a deeply personal and poignant story of coming out, self-harm and being misunderstood. Scoring marks into 16mm film, the smiles in the vintage footage come under scrutiny when paired with the testimony of the voiceover. A striking contrast between how we act for the camera to make good memories and the actuality of the lasting effects of those events, the protagonist comes to a place of self-protection in defiance of what came before.

The High-Flying Jade of the title of Katherine Sweetman's short documentary has swapped air traffic control for taking to the skies herself. During preparations for her first aerial performance for the Ho Chi Minh circus, Jade discloses her experience of soaring highs and crushing lows in the lead up to her diagnosis and how she finds solace in performing. Though her diagnosis is a turning point, Sweetman focuses instead on the balance Jade finds through trusting herself and understanding the nature of the forces both in and around her, coming to embrace her unique brain chemistry and what adventures it allows her to undertake.