Presented in partnership with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, this year’s theme focuses on mental health and politics, running over two weekends (10-11 and 17-18 September) in Edinburgh and Inverness.

The programme includes four acclaimed feature length international documentaries that represent different perspectives on mental health in relation to migration and displacement as well as in relation to the self and the body.

Through a personal lens and a female gaze, these filmmakers explore mental health issues in a creative and intimate way, pushing the boundaries of non-fiction cinema and ethics.

All four films are screening on the same day at Summerhall in Edinburgh and Eden Court in Inverness, and will also be available to stream online. 

About the Programme

Saturday 10 September

Self-Portrait by Katja Høgset, Espen Wallin, Margreth Olin (2020)

Lene Marie Fossen, a world-class photographer, lives with anorexia. She stopped eating at the age of ten. Intent on exposing the shame around anorexia and confronting her disease, her art is naked and honest. Self Portrait is Lene Marie’s journey and struggle. “If only it was about snapping your fingers and beginning to eat again.” In October 2019, at only 33, Lene Marie passed away. She watched the film before, together with her parents, wishing for it to be released world-wide.

3pm at Summerhall, Edinburgh | Book Here

3.30pm at Eden Court, Inverness | Book Here

Sunday 11 September

Beyond My Grandfather Allende by Marcia Tambutti Allende (2015)

35 years after the coup d’état that overthrew her grandfather, Salvador Allende, Marcia wishes to change the family custom of not speaking about him and their tragic history. She believes it’s time to recover the family memories snatched away during the coup and to unveil their intimate past buried under Allende´s political transcendence, exile and family pain. She draws a family portrait that addresses the complexities of irreparable losses and the role of memory in three generations of an iconic family. The translucent intimacy brings the viewer so close that we all become grandchildren of Allende.

4pm at Summerhall, Edinburgh | Book Here

3pm at Eden Court, Inverness | Book Here

Saturday 17 September

All About My Sisters by Wang Qiong (2021)

A documentary about remembering and forgetting, ending and restarting, forgiving and reconciliation, scarring and healing. 22-year-old Qiong digs into her family’s dramas and traumas, exploring the complexity of politics, gender, sex, birth control and social political power over women’s bodies.

4pm at Summerhall, Edinburgh | Book Here

1.30pm at Eden Court, Inverness | Book Here

Sunday 18 September

Island of the Hungry Ghosts by Gabrielle Brady (2019)

While the yearly crab migration takes place and locals perform rituals for ghosts, a trauma therapist living on Australia’s Christmas Island works with asylum seekers. They are held indefinitely at the island’s refugee detention centre.

2pm at Summerhall, Edinburgh | Book Here

2pm at Eden Court, Inverness | Book Here

Panel Discussion: Filmmaking, Politics and Women

The closing event of the Phenomenal Women series is a panel discussion with special guests who will be bringing their own perspectives on mental health and politics, filmmaking, activism, ethics and the specific set of challenges that women making documentaries face in the industry and beyond.

Guests include filmmakers Hannah Currie and Amy Hardie, producer and licensed therapist Rebecca Day, and Linda Irvine Fitzpatrick, Strategic Programme Manager of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership. 

Tickets are FREE. BSL interpretation will be provided. 

4pm at Summerhall, Edinburgh | Book Here

Tickets and Accessibility

All screenings are available to pre-book online on a sliding scale basis £2-£8, with free tickets available during the screening dates at the venue.

If you would like to book a free ticket in advance, or make a group booking of free tickets, please feel free to get in touch via

All films will have English subtitles/captions.

Funder and Partners

Phenomenal Women is a programme by the Scottish Documentary Institute.

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI.


Image: Still from All About My Sisters