SMHAF Grief Series 1

  • Short
  • 7 Episodes

Grief takes many forms, and we all experience it, process it, and live with it in different ways. These short films bring 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.

Join us for a Zoom Q&A with the filmmakers at 2pm on Saturday 22 May. Book your place here. Screening 17-23 May for UK audiences.

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.

TICKET PRICES AND PASSES Tickets will be available on a Pay What You Can basis, using our sliding scale pricing. Tickets for all feature films and shorts programmes will be available for 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.

Tickets must be paid for using a credit or debit card. If you do not have access to a card to make a payment, you are welcome to select a free ticket.

To access every film in the programme, you can also buy a SMHAF Pass. These are priced at £15 or £10 for concessions.

Mind Yersel, Bonnie McRae, Scotland, 4m

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.

Winner of the Community award at SMHAF 2021.

Content notes: Discussion of suicide

Between Heaven and Hell, Liina Johansson, Sweden, 5m, International Premiere

A young woman experiencing depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder uses a letter to connect her Finnish grandmother, whose life was marked by the damaging treatment she received while in psychiatric care. This creative documentary aims to challenge stigma in her family and throughout society.

Content notes: Reference to 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 notes: 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 notes: 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.

Winner of the Animation award at SMHAF 2021.

A Glimpse, Zinnie Harris, Scotland, 16m, World Premiere

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.

Winner of the Short Drama award at SMHAF 2021.

Content notes: miscarriage, blood, strong language

Episodes

4m
Mind Yersel

Content notes: Discussion of suicide

Bonnie MacRae, Scotland

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.

Winner of the Community award at SMHAF 2021.

5m
Between Heaven and Hell

Content notes: Reference to lobotomy

Liina Johansson, Sweden, 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.

15m
Trifle

Content notes: nudity, sexual references, strong language, methadone use

Mike Callaghan, Scotland, 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.

6m
Letter To My Brother

Content notes: bereavement

Isabelle Giroux, Canada, 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.

20m
Letters: The Art of Grieving

Content: grief, stillbirth

Nich Perez, USA, 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.

5m
Grab My Hand: A Letter To My Dad

Camrus Johnson & Pedro Piccinini, USA

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.

Winner of the Animation award at SMHAF 2021.

16m
A Glimpse

Content notes: miscarriage, blood, strong language

Zinnie Harris, Scotland, World Premiere

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.

Winner of the Short Drama award at SMHAF 2021.