Submissions are now OPEN for the International Film Competition at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2022, led by the Mental Health Foundation.

Now in its 16th year, SMHAF calls on filmmakers, established or aspiring, to submit films addressing mental health, and the various ways this can be understood or reflected. In our programming, SMHAF is renowned for championing work by filmmakers with lived experience of mental ill health, films that challenge stigma and perceptions about mental health, and films that raise awareness about the mental health experiences of marginalised communities. Our screenings draw attention to specific mental health problems, but we are also keen to present innovative and diverse perspectives on mental health and wellbeing, and work that resonates with people with lived experience. Films of any length, genre and style are welcome. 

All films submitted to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival will be eligible to win a prize at the International Film Awards. Award-winning films will be selected by a jury comprised of people with backgrounds in film, in mental health, or both. They will be screened at the festival and honoured at our annual ceremony. 

Award-winners from SMHAF 2021 included A Glimpse, the debut film by acclaimed playwright Zinnie Harris, Judy Versus Capitalism, Mike Hoolboom's experimental documentary about Canadian activist Judy Rebick, and Mind Yersel, a short created to raise awareness about suicide prevention in Dundee by 21-year-old filmmaker Bonnie MacRae. The Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Love Bound, an emotive Danish documentary by Vibe Mogensen, which follows a group of parents in an otherwise silent therapy room as they struggle to support their adult children with mental illness.

Submissions should be made through our FilmFreeway page. The standard submission fee is £7 for short films and £10 for feature films, which helps us to cover the cost of running the competition. If you would find it difficult to pay the submission fee for any reason, you are welcome to get in touch to request a fee waiver - no questions asked. Please provide a brief description of the film when doing so to ensure it is relevant to the festival. The deadline for submissions is Friday 3rd December 2021.

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Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions about the submission process. We look forward to receiving your submissions and please help us to spread the word about the festival.