A ‘schizophrenia love story road movie’ tours the West Coast

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Riptide, a ‘Scottish schizophrenia love story road movie’, will be screened at Lorn and Lochaber during Mental Health Awareness Week, with the aim of busting the myths and stigma of psychiatric illness.

Schizophrenia affects one in 100 of the population, manifests in broadly similar ways across the world, and is still widely misunderstood, distorted and stigmatized, the film’s team said, adding, “Our film aims to help correct the record, telling a unique story with authenticity, integrity, hope and humour.

“Our Scottish schizophrenia love story road movie launched in 2020 and has screened at festivals around the world – 14 so far,” said its writer and director Tim Barrow.

“Riptide was designed to tell an authentic and hopeful story about schizophrenia and help break down myths and stigma. We have been researching with people at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for seven years, under the direction of Professor Stephen Lawrie, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh.

Riptide is inspired by “stories of support, guidance, humor and recovery from people with schizophrenia, as well as scientific research and medical care”.

Professor Lawrie explained: “Schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and hallucinations. The arts, and film in particular, have a role to play in reducing the stigma of mental illness and they provide opportunities for people to hear stories about mental illness in a way that corrects myths and stereotypes that people hold about these conditions.

The film, which cost just £12,000 to make, is shown at the Phoenix Cinema in Oban from May 6-12, with a screening at the Highland Cinema, Fort William on May 9.

“We’re screening during Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-15), bringing people together in cinemas to celebrate this Scottish story on the big screen,” Tim added.

“A key part of our events are the audience Q&A sessions after the screening – we are keen to keep the conversations going around mental health, psychosis, wellness, art and hope .
“The response to Riptide has been fantastic and humbling, and now we’re on to the best part of the journey – sharing our film with live audiences.”

The cast of Riptide includes Elspeth Turner, Tim Barrow, David Whitney, David Tudor, Harry Donnelly, Shona Brodie Hill, Toby Mottershead, Nathan Scott Dunn, Josh Brock, Jonny Tulloch and Cameron Docker.

The synopsis of the film begins: “Released from a psychiatric hospital, Jacob tries to resume his life in Edinburgh, to control his schizophrenia and to be a worthy member of society. He works to collect waste from streets and parks. He is boxing. He takes medication. He writes everything. His father hardly wants to know him.

“Frustrated by a banal existence and encouraged by his psychiatrist, Jacob travels to the Highlands in search of fulfillment. At the seaside, he meets the charismatic Eva, who claims to be Ingmar Bergman’s secret daughter. And she’s on a mission.

About Victoria Rothstein

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