Illuminate is a series of carefully curated film and discussion events at Cork Film Festival which each focus on a differing aspect of mental health. Now in its second year, the series is supported by the HSE Cork Mental Health Services and Arts + Minds. Illuminate will take place from 12-14 November 2015 at Triskel Christchurch.

Illuminate aims to create an open forum where experts and audience members can come together and share their knowledge and experiences of mental health issues. In an age where mental health issues are increasingly destigmatised, discussed and understood in our society and our media, Illuminate uses the platform of film to tackle themes including medicalization, representations of mental health in film and media and society’s attitude and responsibility toward those suffering with mental health issues.

This film and discussion series starts with a feature length film and then breaks out into extended audience interactive discussion sessions, with clinicians, commentators, policy-makers, ethicists and philosophers interviewing and rejoining with the filmmakers.


Dead When I Got Here 
12 November | 18:00 | Triskel

Josué was cast out of the traumatised streets of Juárez, México into the desert and dumped in a mental asylum run by its own patients. Assisted by people employing empathy as the only means of survival, Josué transcended near death – discovering compassion in his darkest hours. Six years later, Josué manages the asylum and dreams of his estranged daughter. This is a story about sorrow and hardship but also about healing and redemption.

The post screening panel discussion will explore the problem of homelessness and mental health in Ireland, and the issue of social responsibility to those suffering from mental health issues.

Speakers: Mark Aitken (Director), Richard Walden (Scottish Mental Health Film Festival), Joan Hamilton (Slí Eile)

Good Girl
13 November | 16:00 | Triskel

Good Girl is Norwegian director Solveig Melkeraaen’s brave autobiographical documentary about her journey through acute depression. During the film Solveig is again hit by depression and we take the journey through illness, vulnerability and treatment with her. An unflinchingly honest film which explores depression, ECT and the light and hope of recovery with bravery and humour.

The post screening panel discussion will focus on depression and its impact upon individuals and families, ECT and recovery.

Speakers: Solveig Merlkeraaen (Director), Dr. Pat Bracken (West Cork Mental Health Services)

Hedi Schneider is Stuck 
14 November | 13:30 | Triskel

Hedi’s life is seemingly perfect, a loving husband, a beautiful son and an adventure on the horizon. However, one day Hedi suffers a debilitating panic attack and the happy balance of all their lives become threatened and fragile. The light touch and gentle tone of Hedi Schneider is Stuck rather than undermine the seriousness of the issues dealt with only make us realize the universal, human nature of them.

The post screening panel discussion will explore issues of anxiety, medicalisation, stigma and representations of mental health in film and media.

Speakers: Dr. Peter Byrne (University College London), Ann O’ Connor (Arts+Minds)

For further information and bookings visit


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