A BRAND new festival launched by an Irish charity in Britain hopes to open up the conversation about mental health in London through the prism of film and the creative arts
SHOUT LONDON: The Ashford Place Mental Health Film and Arts Festival sprouted from an idea by Carey Fitzgerald, Managing Director of Silver Mountain Productions, whose long-standing involvement with Ashford Place motivated her to explore ways of combining her own industry expertise with the charity’s pioneering work supporting the most marginalised and vulnerable in society.
Ashford Place CEO, Danny Maher, who has worked closely with Ms Fitzgerald in developing SHOUT LONDON, believes the event, which seeks to bring unseen and often poorly understood mental health issues into more open discourse, is well timed.
“The Covid lockdown has had a significantly negative impact on public mental health and the ability of services to cope, with reduced face to face engagement against a stretched system exposing existing and growing inequalities,” he said.
“As thinking and policy around wellbeing continues to be locked in a top down infrastructure, Ashford Place is incredibly proud to support SHOUT LONDON, which looks towards redressing the balance, offering a platform that encourages publicly focused conversation, inspired by honest depictions of mental health in film and the creative arts,” he added.
Encompassing film, music, theatre, dance and poetry, SHOUT LONDON is being curated by Silver Mountain Productions, who, along with The Kiln theatre, also act as sponsors with Carey Fitzgerald as Festival Director, Ronald de Neef as Programme Director and Dominique Murphy-de Neef as Marketing Director.
And Michelle Collins, star of stage and screen, has been announced as festival patron.
“I am proud to be the Patron of Shout London - every family is affected by mental health of some kind and I’m delighted that Shout London is opening the conversation, as too often the subject is hidden,” she said.
“The Festival will celebrate the importance of the creative arts and mental health wellbeing.”
As planning for the first festival gets underway, Ms Fitzgerald is excited for the future.
“Our long-term plan is to build SHOUT LONDON into one of the most diverse cultural annual events in the calendar, embracing an inclusive spectrum across all the arts,” she said.
“By engaging with communities and forming collaborations, the festival aims to celebrate the artistic expression of people with experience of mental health problems, exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind, while promoting positive mental health and well-being.”
Showcasing at The Kiln Cinema in Kilburn and at The Crown Hotel London, the free to attend inaugural edition of SHOUT LONDON: The Ashford Place Mental Health Film and Arts Festival will be held on October 10 and 11, to coincide with World Mental Health Day.
For further information and the festival programme click here.