Disappearing Act

Rich Pickings presents: Disappearing Act

In partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival

Part of the Reel Science strand supported by Wellcome Trust

Saturday June 18th, Inspace Gallery, 1 Crichton St., Edinburgh

Free ticketed event. Register here: http://richpickings.eventbrite.com/

Around 750,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia. This event presented a series of short films exploring the disease in its many forms, from the viewpoint of sufferers and carers alike.  Alongside affecting tales of loss, confusion and isolation, this wandering journey offered unexpected moments of comic absurdity, clarity of insight and joy of life. The screening was followed by a discussion with filmmakers and experts in the field, as well as those who have experienced dementia, who together investigated the thoughts and stories addressed in the films and look at other issues around this frightening and common condition. Speakers included Geoff Huggins (Head of Mental Health at The Scottish Government), Jan Killeen (Director Policy, Alzheimer Scotland) and Dr Ailsa Cook (Author of ‘Dementia and Well Being: Possibilities and Challenges’).

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“A heart-wrenching tour of the day to day experience of dementia… we left with a deeper understanding of what it means to have the condition or be close to someone who does” - New Scientist CultureLab

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Programme:

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IRENE – Dir. Lindsay Goodall

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While suffering from Alzheimer’s and decreasing physical ability, Irene’s feisty personality still shines through, often leading to laughter, tension and heartache in this refreshing documentary.

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MY MOTHER – Dir. Elaine Wickham

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sA woman is traumatised by the prospect of having to put her ailing mother into a home in this multi-award winning short.

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EX MEMORIA – Dir. Josh Appignanesi

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In this meditative film the audience is transported, visually and aurally, into the mind of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s.

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DESOLATION - Dir. Andrew Robinson

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A son watches his family being torn apart by the aggressive and degenerative symptoms that vascular dementia.

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AFTER TOMORROW – Dir. Emma Sullivan

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A man’s desperate attempts to reconcile with his estranged wife are repeatedly thwarted by the strange old lady whose B&B he is staying in in this short drama, nominated for a Palme d’Or at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.

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DIMENSIA – Dir. Elinore Burke

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An artistic take on the personal, subjective experience of dementia.

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MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU – Dir. Javier Douglas

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Bill found it very difficult to accept he had Alzheimer’s, but he has developed a positive outlook on his condition by becoming an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society. This film was made for for BBC Video Nation, Headroom campaign.

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SPEAKERS

Lynda Hogg was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2006 and subsequently retired from her post with the Scottish Pharmaceutical General Council after 15 years of service. She initially joined the Scottish Dementia Working Group, a campaigning group run by and for people with dementia as part of Alzheimer Scotland; and is now a Council member of Alzheimer Scotland and a Board member of Alzheimer’s Disease International. Lynda represents people with dementia on the board and is the first person to have been nominated to do so.  She has recently completed a small research project to gain a better understanding of the impact of having a diagnosis on couples.  Lynda lives in Edinburgh, close by the Scottish Parliament, and gets great enjoyment from her four-legged and feathered pets.

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Jan Killeen is Director of Policy at Alzheimer Scotland and has led campaigns for the rights of people with dementia over the last 30 years, first working as Director of Scottish Action on Dementia; and since 1994 when Scottish Action on Dementia amalgamated with Alzheimer Scotland.  In 2004 she was seconded to the Scottish Government for three years to improve the implementation of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 which introduced new rights and protections for adults with a mental disorder, including dementia.  Jan has produced a number of policy and research reports and more recently has helped to shape the Scottish Government’s National Dementia Strategy. Jan lives in Portobello and has a strong interest in Public Art and is a founder member of Big Things on the Beach, a local public art trust.

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Dr Ailsa Cook is Lecturer at the School of Health in Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and an Independent Research Consultant. Her main research interests are around the experiences of adults using health and social care services but particularly people with dementia, user involvement and outcomes. She has led a programme of Government funded action research looking at improving outcomes for service users and carers in community care.

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Geoff Huggins is Head of Mental Health Division, Scottish Executive.