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Mental health film set for festival debut

Three-minute stop motion animation, The Ballad of Polly and Nelly produced by the team at Gowrie Care’s Dundee Futures.

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An animated film, created by a Dundee charity, aiming to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, is to be screened at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival in Glasgow this week.

The three-minute stop motion animation, The Ballad of Polly and Nelly, was produced by the team at Gowrie Care’s Dundee Futures and three local people the charity engaged with.

The group combined personal stories and experiences to develop the film, which takes a lighter look at the issues of mental health.

Fiona Holt, Dundee Futures Sessional Worker, said:

“We hope that The Ballad of Polly and Nelly will help to break down the isolation and stigma that often accompanies mental health. 

“We chose the subject of mental health, because it mattered to them and to those they care about.” 

A Hillcrest Group of Companies’ project, Gowrie Care Dundee Futures, works with people who have been affected by homelessness, social isolation or poverty.

Fiona Holt continued:

“There is still a lot of work to do in terms of breaking down barriers and promoting positive mental health but this is what we are working towards.

“Events like Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival are very important for raising awareness of mental health and getting people talking about it – the team is delighted to be part of such an important event.”

Raegan McKenna, who took part in the project, said:

“I am very proud of what we have created.

“The development process has been quite emotional and has taught me that there are a lot of people going through the same things when it comes to mental health.

To produce the three-minute film, the team had to create over 4,000 individual frames by hand and completed the work over nine weeks, working four hours each week.

Also taking part in the project was George Meechan, who added:

“I feel great and more confident after completing the project.

“The Future’s team are all great people, and the project made me feel like a real person who is part of something worthwhile.”

Brandon Bowman, who completed the animation trio, said:

“I feel 100% better than I did when I started the project, I’m happy with what I and the group have achieved.”

The Ballad of Polly and Nelly is to be screened at 1pm on Friday 13 October in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and free tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

In addition to their film being showcased at Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the team is also in line for awards glory at the upcoming TPAS Scotland National Good Practice Awards 2017, where they have been shortlisted in the Equality and Diversity award category.

The winner is set to be announced at a special gala dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews on Friday 3 November.

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