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Short Films: Grief

Film Discussion

Grief takes many forms, and we all experience it, process it, and live with it in different ways. These short films explore the impact that grief has on our mental health.

Bringing together a diverse collection of stories to explore the expansiveness of grief, including a community affected by the impact of suicide, individuals writing letters to their lost loved ones, a woman coming to terms with a series of miscarriages, and three women using artistic practice and creative therapies to help them through their loss, this is a moving, powerful and ultimately hopeful programme.

Content notes: discussion of bereavement, institutional abuse, lobotomy, methadone use, miscarriage, stillbirth, suicide, strong language, depiction of blood, nudity, sexual references. These are also listed individually by film.

How to Watch

Watch Grief on the SMHAF page at INDY On Demand. The programme is available rent from 17-23 May for UK audiences. The runtime is 87 minutes.

Tickets are available on a Pay What You Can basis, using our sliding scale pricing. Tickets are FREE, £2, £4 and £6. To access the various prices, please click Rent and then tick the box “I have a promo code”. Enter the promo code for your ticket price – SMHAF0, SMHAF2 or SMHAF4 – and click apply. £6 is the default price, with no code required.

There will be a Zoom Q&A with filmmakers Zinnie Harris, Bonnie MacRae, Nish Perez, Mike Callaghan and Liina Johansson on Saturday 22 May at 2pm. It will take place as a webinar and be available to view on Facebook Live.

Screening Programme

Mind Yersel’, Bonnie McRae, Scotland, 4m
Winner of the Community award at SMHAF 2021
A zero-budget short film by 21-year-old Bonnie MacRae, created in response to her hometown of Dundee being labelled as Scotland’s suicide capital. Featuring a creative script and moving portraits of local people, it is both a striking film and an effective campaign to get people to open up about mental health and suicide in the city. Content: discussion of suicide prevention.

Between Heaven and Hell, Liina Johansson, Sweden, 5m, International Premiere
Sara, who experiences depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, uses a letter to connect with their Finnish great-grandmother, whose life was marked by damaging treatment received in psychiatric care. This creative documentary aims to challenge stigma in their family and throughout society. Content: discussion of lobotomy.

Trifle, Mike Callaghan, Scotland, 15m, Scottish Premiere
Alice, a grieving pharmacist, struggles with the realisation that her husband was having an affair before his death. Starring Amy Manson and Tam Dean Burn, this is a warm and compassionate drama about the complexities of grief and the power of human connection. Content: brief nudity, sexual references, strong language, methadone use.

Letter To My Brother, Isabelle Giroux, Canada, 6m, European Premiere
An experimental essay film that emerged from director Isabelle Giroux’s grief after the loss of her brother, Benoït who had schizophrenia and learning disabilities. It is an attempt to extend his life through the suggestion of his presence on film. Content: bereavement.

Letters: The Art of Grieving, Nich Perez, USA, 20m, European Premiere
An intimate and meditative documentary about three women who diverse artistic practices to process their grief. Three stories intertwine: a poet and fiber artist who lost her husband to Alzheimer’s disease, an artist whose 9-week-old son died unexpectedly, and a young painter who lost her mother to brain cancer. Content: grief, stillbirth.

Grab My Hand: A Letter to My Dad, Camrus Johnson & Pedro Piccinini, USA, 5m
This animated film was created to support the director’s father after the loss of his best friend and celebrate the bond that they shared. A personal story of grief, those we look up to, and how the interactions we can take for granted play a huge part in how we live our lives.

A Glimpse, Zinnie Harris, Scotland, 16m, World Premiere
Winner of the Short Drama award at SMHAF 2021
A young mother accidentally opens a window on her past self, at a time when she was struggling with a series of miscarriages. The debut short film by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Zinnie Harris, this is a sensitive, authentic and ultimately hopeful portrayal of a woman living through and after a distressing period of her life. Content notes: miscarriage, blood, strong language

Image: A Glimpse. Credit: Robert Pereira Hind


Mon 17th - Sun 23rd May
UK Audiences

Tickets: Pay What You Can (FREE, £2, £4, £6)

SMHAF Film Pass: £15 / £10

Book & WatchINDY On Demand

Accessibility: Captions or subtitles available for all films.


Sat 22nd May
2PM - 3PM

Tickets: FREE


Accessibility: Live captioning will be provided for the discussion. If you have any further access requirements, please email Emily at [email protected].