Directed by Glasgow-based poet, writer, musician and filmmaker Sean Lìonadh, Too Rough also received the award in the Short Drama category. 

In the film, a hungover and hysterical Nick (Ruaridh Mollica) wakes up next to his boyfriend Charlie (Joshua Griffin) and must conceal him from his own homophobic and dysfunctional family. 

The Grand Jury Prize was presented by filmmaker Adura Onashile, who read a statement on behalf of the festival:

This year’s Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Too Rough, a film that demonstrates outstanding craft in every aspect of its filmmaking and contributes to understanding about the ways in which our mental health is affected by our social circumstances.

In its discussions, the jury highlighted the outstanding production design, cinematography and score, which combine to create a tense and claustrophobic environment, allowing audiences to empathise with the palpable anxiety felt by the central character.

Based partly on the director’s personal experiences, the film offers a raw and uncompromising insight into the reality of growing up in a traumatic environment. It never shies away from addressing extraordinarily difficult issues but always maintains a clear sense of hope through moments of humour and the tenderness of the relationship at its heart.

In an interview for the SMHAF website, prior to receiving the award, Sean said: 

This film let me put so many of my own experiences into one small setting, an enclosed bedroom. I wanted to create a kind of warzone in a domestic space, as that’s what it feels like to grow up in a dysfunctional household. The most interesting thing to me however, was the things we try to conceal from our lovers, because we feel like they can’t be loved. Emotional warfare hardens you, and always has you looking over your shoulder. But when you can finally let love in, it’s the most beautiful, intense feeling. 

I’m always thinking about these things, so I didn’t have to prepare too much. I just wanted to tell the story as honestly as possible. 

Too Rough is screening in Made in Scotland, a programme exploring the issues that affect our mental health in Scotland, at 8pm on Friday 13 May. Tickets are pay what you can. The screening includes SDH captions and the introduction and discussion will have BSL interpretation.

Book tickets for Made in Scotland here. Explore the rest of the film programme, taking place from 12-15 May, here.