Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival launches programme

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival launches programme

Kathryn Joseph and Marcus Mackay / credit: Jannica Honey

SMHAFF 2015 line-up includes Kathryn Joseph, Matt Haig and RM Hubbert

The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival has announced the theme for this year's event, and, drum roll please: it's 'Passion'. Looking at the programme, which features over 300 events and was announced in full today, it would seem that there's a lot to be passionate about indeed.

The festival features everything from performing art to theatre, film, music and literature, with some big names on the bill this year. Heading up the performing arts programme is In Her Shadows, a new visual performance piece from A Blank Canvas & Jabuti Theatre along with director Cora Bissett, as well as productions of The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller and Descent by Linda Duncan McLaughlin.

Music-wise, there's a performance from SAY Award winner Kathryn Joseph to look forward to, as well as as a gig from singer-songwriter RM Hubbert. There's also a new Turntable project from Michael John McCarthy attached to the festival, which sees a series of events take place throughout October, with the aim of 'reclaiming music as a communal experience.'

For the literary-minded, author Matt Haig will be discussing his work, Reasons to Stay Alive, plus there's an exciting evening of spoken word, literature and music from Rally & Broad.

The festival is renowned for having a strong film stream, and this year looks set to be no different. There will be UK debuts for Dancing With Maria, a documentary about a 90-year-old dance teacher in Buenos Aires, and The Silence of the Flies, which explores a suicide epidemic in the Venezuelan Andes,

Other films to look out for include Dead When I Got Here, which looks at life in a mental asylum which is run by its own patients, The Closer We Get, an autobiographical documentary from Karen Guthrie, and Signe Baumane's new animated feature, Rocks in My Pockets.

The festival opens on World Mental Health Day (Sat 10 Oct), and takes place across Scotland until the end of the month.

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Sat 10 Oct-Sat 31 Oct, various venues across Scotland

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

One of Scotland’s most diverse and inclusive cultural events, combining high quality artistic events with extensive community-led programming and a social justice agenda.

Dancing Sunwise

A workshop aimed at helping you get to grips with your creativity.

The Last Yankee

Celebrating Arthur Miller's centenary, Rapture Theatre present this play about Leroy Hamilton and his wife Patricia, and the consequences of their inability to achieve the mythical riches of the American Dream.


A pop-up installation where participants choose a record that encourages debate and chat with others.

Living With …

Poetry, music, song and spoken word to explore people living with long-term conditions.


An exploration of gender and identity.

Find Your Voice and Feel Good

A welcoming session of group singing, suitable for anyone who wants to take part.