Falkirk actor scoops top film award

Glenn Merrilees
Glenn Merrilees

A film starring a Falkirk man has scooped a top award at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Glenn Merrilees (48) was part of the five-man cast in ‘Voices’, which came joint first in the Artist Film category.

The 20-minute film, made by trainee psychiatric nurse Bob Owtram, beat off competition from 110 entries from as far afield as Australia and Turkey.

It tells the story of someone having a breakdown and ending up in hospital.

Judges described the film as ‘‘evocative, powerful, beautiful and at times controversial’’, and praised the ‘‘stunning imagery and sound’’ which accompanies the narrative, created from song, poetry, prose and artwork.

Glenn, who is an active member of FDAMH’s media group, said: “There is definitely a message of hope within the film too. Bob advertised that he was doing the film in the Voices of Experience newsletter so I got in touch and it all came from there.”

Now in its seventh year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival encompasses music, film, visual art, theatre, dance, and literature.

The annual festival takes place in venues across the country throughout October, aiming to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health. By engaging artists, connecting with communities and forming collaborations, the Festival celebrates the artistic achievements of people with experience of mental health issues as well as exploring the relationship between creativity and the mind, and promotes positive mental health and well-being.

The winning filmmakers will receive their awards at the International Awards Ceremony at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on Wednesday, October 23, when clips of the winning films will be screened to an audience of invited guests and members of the public, who can reserve free tickets through The Filmhouse Box Office on 0131 228 2688.

For more information, go to www.mhfestival.com.