On Thursday 7th December 2017, local filmmaker Ben Grace won the Technical Jury Prize (Best Film) of the Meglio Matti Che Corti competition, for his short film Antelope, alongside ‘The Scent of the Stars’ by Francesco Felli.
Flying out to accept the award at a special awards ceremony in Modena, Italy, Southampton-based writer/director Ben Grace said “I am honoured and humbled to be selected for this award, Antelope is a deeply personal film that deals with issues that hit close to home for many. I’d like to thank the extremely talented cast and crew for working with me to realise this project. I’d especially like to thank Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Not only did they help me when I was at my lowest but by allowing me to partially film Antelope within Antelope House they also helped me to tell my own story of recovery. I’d also like to thank Arci Modena and the organisers of Meglio Matti Che Corti for their kind hospitality.”
Antelope follows Maddie (22) who, after being released from hospital, struggles to reconnect with her family following a failed suicide attempt and is based on writer/director Ben Grace’s experiences of being sectioned at Antelope House.
Working with local NHS providers to ensure that this film was an accurate representation of mental health services in Southampton, Ben gained the permission of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust to film the opening scenes inside Antelope House, the secure PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) he recovered at in 2012.
“Southern Health is proud to support the making of the film ‘Antelope’. As an organisation, we are always striving to contribute towards innovative and creative ways in which we can continue to tackle stigma and discrimination that can be associated with mental illness. Through working with people with lived experience, we’re able to co-produce different materials and media that raises awareness and helps contribute to a community where mental health is more easily spoken about and supported.”
– Sarah Leonard, Acute Care Matron, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
“Taking its name from a Southampton psychiatric intensive care unit, Antelope depicts with sensitivity and humanity the impact of a sudden descent into mental health crisis on a young woman and her family. In doing so, it shines a welcome and much-needed light on the challenges faced by many in our society who live daily with mental health issues.”
-Kevin Gardner, Solent Mind
About Meglio Matti Che Corti
The Meglio Matti Che Corti competition is a international competition held under the Percorto initiative program promoted by Dipartimento di Salute Mentale e Dipendenze Patologiche (Department of Mental Health and Pathological Addictions) in Italy. The competition is held in collaboration with Arci Modena, Idee in Circolo, Nonantola Film Festival, University of Modena, Ucca, Le parole ritrovate nazionali, the Forum Mental Health Association Rosabianca, EnnesimoFilmFestival, Corti-Vivi, Radioliberamente, DramaTeatro, vibrates and Supercinemaestivo.