Led by the the Mental Health Foundation, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is one of the world’s largest social justice festivals.

With annual attendances of over 25,000 at more than 300 events staged throughout Scotland, including film, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts, the festival aims to support the arts and to challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

Now in its 12th year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival showcases its official selections and award winners to diverse audiences, and calls on all filmmakers, established or aspiring, to submit films addressing mental health in various ways.


The theme for the 2018 festival is beginnings, focusing specifically on children and young people and we would encourage submissions that explore this theme. However, all submitted films are eligible to win an International Film Award.

Winning films will be honoured at our International Film Awards ceremony in May 2018.


1. All submitted work must be original, and the submitter must either have festival rights to the film or permission to submit it.

2. Please ensure that non-English language films have English language subtitles.

3. Films previously submitted to the festival will not be considered.

4. Only films completed after 1st January 2015 are eligible.

5. There is a submission fee of $7 USD - this fee helps us to cover the cost of running the competition and the festival. The festival is led by the Mental Health Foundation, a registered charity in the UK (www.mentalhealth.org.uk). If you cannot cover the cost of the entry fee, please contact us.


1. The International Film Awards jury will be comprised of people with backgrounds in film, in mental health, or both. The decisions of the jury are final. Unfortunately we are unable to provide feedback on films which have not been selected.

2. The winning films selected by the jury will be screened during the festival alongside Official Selection films, and will be honoured at the International Film Awards ceremony.

3. For all films to be shown, the festival will be in contact regarding a high quality screening copy. We cannot pay for screening copy costs or shipping to the festival, but we will cover return.


1. All films submitted must have full festival clearance, including written consent/contracts where appropriate for individuals identifiable within the film (paid or unpaid), full musical clearance and third party clearance. It is also the responsibility of the person submitting the film to ensure that any necessary agreements are in place and valid prior to submission. By submitting a film, the person doing so guarantees that all required permissions have been obtained.

2. We may utilise clips of the films to be screened in order to publicise the festival and related events. Submission of an entry form is considered granting the festival permission to do so.

3. High resolution still images will be requested for all winning films.

Overall Rating
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    Cherwell Productions Ltd

    A brilliant festival that has some of the best communication I have seen on the circuit!

    November 2017
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    Genevieve Clay-Smith

    An amazing experience, an amazing festival - totally inspired by all the films and filmmakers. Incredible hospitality too!

    November 2017
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    Robert Cunningham

    This was an excellent festival to be a part of and attend. The communication right from the beginning was not only prompt and professional but friendly too. The Awards Ceremony was done very well and was a great event to meet and network with other film makers. I will be attending again. Robert Cunningham

    November 2016