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Created Out of Mind Short Film Festival 2018

  • The Phoenix Cinema 52 High Road, East Finchley London, N2 9PJ United Kingdom (map)
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Created Out of Mind are pleased to present our Short Film Festival 2018, a programme of engaging short films, exploring unique and diverse stories of dementia in Britain's oldest running single-screen cinema. The festival aims to challenge and enrich current perceptions of dementias, celebrate up and coming filmmakers and invites us to confront bigger questions of what it means to be human.

Where: The Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ

Following the screenings, there will be an open discussion with a panel representing people with lived experiences, filmmakers, arts and cultural programmers and researchers, and a chance to ask questions. Tickets are £3 and available at the link below or can be purchased on arrival at The Phoenix.  

Find more information on our selected films and panel below!


We are showing a range of films from emotive dramas to thought-provoking documentaries and award-winning animation - including 2 UK premieres. Learn more about our selected films below.

Abdullah and Leilah

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Haunted by the memories of his childhood in Baghdad, Abdullah has dementia and struggles to communicate with his daughter. As his mind slides between his past and his unfamiliar present, he no longer remembers the life he’s lived in London for the last 60 years and the fluent English language he’s spoken. His daughter Leilah searches for one last moment of connection with her father before she also fades from his memory and he no longer remembers who she is. Directed by Ashtar Al Khirsan. UK premiere.



The story of three families living in Sheffield, UK with young onset dementia. Filmed by award-winning production company, Cosmic Joke, the film gives a rare insight into the lives of those living with young onset dementia, as well as the people around them. The families in this film had to face huge challenges to gain understanding and recognition from the healthcare system, the government, their workplaces and even from their own friends. This is a story of courage and bravery and above all, love. Directed by Alex Taylor.

Dementia Diaries

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This film from On Our Radar is part of the 'dementia diaries' project - where people living with dementias were given 3D printed phones to record audio diaries over a period of 18 months. Each of their audio diaries is a personal record of their journey with dementia. The thoughts and experiences shared chart the frustrations and opportunities that arise from living with the many different forms of dementias in the hope that their honest stories will change the way we engage with dementia. Directed by Paul Myles.

Do I see what you see?

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How do changes in the brain cause us to see differently? What if dementia did not affect your memory but affected your vision? This short, animated film s narrated by people living with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA), a rare form of dementia which affects the visual areas of the brain. Everyday tasks are beset with obstacles, but their stories also force us to question our own perceptions and whether we are truly seeing the world around us the way others do. Directed by Simon Ball.



A drifting man struggles to pull objects from the roiling sea below him and scrambles to keep the objects from slipping through his fingers. A stop-motion animation using textured and tactile materials, as well as personal imagery, that represents the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Inspired by my grandfather. Awarded Best Animated Short at Slamdance 2009. Directed by Hayley Morris.

Prussian Blue Hue

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An endearing friendship between a Grandmother and a Grandson is put in jeopardy when the Grandmother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The boy’s interest in painting becomes the structure for the film, and a mirrored progression takes place between a series of Picasso-inspired portraits of his grandmother and the advancement of her illness. Directed by Sophie May. UK premiere.


Our panel represents a diverse range of perspectives and includes film and documentary makers, researchers, clinicians, arts and cultural programmers and activists, many of whom have experiences of dementia. Learn more about the panel below and meet them at the festival!

Peter Clark, Carer and former BBC producer/documentary maker.

Peter Clark, Carer and former BBC producer/documentary maker.

Professor Peter Clark was a BBC/TV and Radio producer. for many years  He made many Scientific Programmes for the Open University, including prize-winning film The Last Man on the Moon.  He worked at the BBC on Late Night Line Up, Up Sunday, and Horizon. 

Peter was the Professor of Film, Television, and Radio at a new University in Saudi Arabia, where he went on to write Death of a Princess.  He cares for his gay partner, who has Alzheimer's, Vascular Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. 

He is also trained as a Counsellor and Group Facilitator, and he helps to run the Relative Support Group at the Haynes Dementia Centre in North London. 

Katie Featherstone, Reader in Sociology and Medicine, Cardiff University

Katie Featherstone, Reader in Sociology and Medicine, Cardiff University

Katie Featherstone’s research uses sociology to improve the quality and humanity of care that people living with dementia receive in hospital.

This work focuses on applying sociological methods to provide new theoretical developments in understanding the cultures, organisation and delivery of care for people living with dementia in acute wards. The goal is to develop low-cost interventions and training to improve care and to support ward staff.

Katie also helps to reduce social inequalities for people living with dementia through her creative collaborations with the arts, film and cinema. Her work has had impacts within NHS Trusts, government and arts policy. @storiesdementia /

Thanh Sinden, Arts and Museum Consultant; Museum Detox Board Member

Thanh Sinden, Arts and Museum Consultant; Museum Detox Board Member

Thanh Sinden is an independent arts and museum consultant supporting organisations and teams in Audience Development strategies, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Arts Health and Wellbeing initiatives.

Thanh is a board member of the Museum Detox steering group, championing fair representation and inclusion of BAME cultural, intellectual and creative contributions of past and present. Museum Detox works to deconstruct systems of inequality that exist in our cultural sectors and help diversity thrive; a workforce and audience that is reflective of the UK’s 21st century population.

A fellow of the RSA and Future Proof Museums, Thanh works to empower organisations, communities and teams to create positive social impact.

Ross Paterson, Clinical Lecturer, NHNN

Ross Paterson, Clinical Lecturer, NHNN

Dr Ross Paterson is a NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Clinical Lecturer in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. His research interest is furthering the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of dementia.   

Ross studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, and was awarded a PhD at the University College London Institute of Neurology. 

He has authored 50+ peer reviewed publications and book chapters. He is am passionate about art and music and I play violin, cello and piano. 

Dominique Unsworth, CEO of Resource Productions and Producer, Abdullah and Leilah

Dominique Unsworth, CEO of Resource Productions and Producer, Abdullah and Leilah

Dominique Unsworth has been producing short films through social enterprise, Resource Productions, for almost 20 years. After Producing Abdullah and Leilah, Dom was accepted onto ‘Guiding Lights’ to develop her feature film slate.

Dom's passionate about inclusion and access within the Creative Industries and supports diverse regional talent, crew and artists whilst developing new creative sector technical standards in her role as SME Apprenticeship Ambassador.

Through Resource Productions, she’s currently producing commissions for BBC Ideas, has produced eight Random Acts for Channel 4 and an iShort for Creative England. @DomUnsworth@ResourceProds / 

Claire Vaughan, Programme and Learning Manager at Chapter

Claire Vaughan, Programme and Learning Manager at Chapter

Claire Vaughan is the Programme Manager for Film & Cinema at Chapter in Cardiff, an ambitious cross-arts centre and the BFI Film Audience Network Film Hub for Wales.

Chapter began a pilot study into how to respond to the needs of audiences living with dementia and, in 2014, began a regular monthly screening programme, where Claire serves as an audience host. The programme led to the development of a dementia-friendly screening toolkit which has been distributed throughout the UK and beyond. It has helped Cardiff Council develop dementia-friendly policies and subsequently the capital city has followed through with training in public services and infrastructure.

Claire serves on the LGBTQ Iris Prize Short film pre-selection jury and is a part of the Joy Collective, promoters specialising in an inclusive and experimental music.

The panel will be facilitated by Michael Regnier, a science writer and editor at Wellcome Trust, and previously a press officer and playwright.


We are very grateful to the following people along with Peter Clark, Katie Featherstone and Thanh Sinden who selected the final films - no easy task as we received so many brilliant entries! The panel members mentioned below are unable to join our discussion at the festival, but brought their expertise across the arts, film and cinema to help us make our official selection.

Ashtar Al Khirsan

Ashtar Al Khirsan is a Director working across both documentary and fiction film.

Ashtar began her career working in the BBC comedy department before going to the National Film and Television School to study Fiction Direction. She made a series of one-off documentaries which led her to making single films for the Arena arts strand on BBC2.

Her documentaries have received strong critical praise in the national press and have been screened at various international film festivals, including Edinburgh, London, Rotterdam and Chicago. Her feature script was developed through the EU Sources 2 Script Development Programme and she is currently developing documentary and feature projects.

Sally Griffith, Director of Anim18

Sally Griffith, Director of Anim18

Sally Griffith is Director of Anim18: A Celebration of British Animation, a UK wide programme of special events, new commissions and screenings; profiling classic and untold stories. 

Delivered in collaboration with venues, festivals, animation talent and industry experts from all over Britain, the activity is kindly supported by BFI, ACE and British Council. Sally was formally the Director of Chapter Cinema and the BFI Film Hub for Wales, which leads on Diversity and Inclusion for the UK. 

Sally worked with Dr Katie Featherstone to introduce dementia friendly activities at Chapter and, through the BFI film Audience Network, helped to support venues across the UK to become dementia-friendly.  / @anim18UK  

Harry Macqueen, Actor and filmmaker

Harry Macqueen, Actor and filmmaker

Harry Macqueen trained as an actor at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has since worked extensively on stage and screen. In 2015 he wrote/directed and starred in the feature film ‘Hinterland’ which played at festivals all over the world and was long-listed for two BAFTA Awards.

Harry Macqueen is the current recipient of the Wellcome Trust 'Broadcast Development Award' and is working closely with Sebastian Crutch and the Created Out Of Mind team on the script of his next film ‘Supernova’.

This festival is dementia-inclusive and people living with and without dementias are welcome to attend. If you have any specific access needs or questions please contact us at

Download the flyer here