Inspire Mental Health will benefit from 10% of funds raised to make ‘Troubles’
Following the announcement earlier this month that a percentage of finances raised for Belfast film Troubles will be donated to Inspire Mental Health, producers have announced that the figure will be doubled.
Nuala Dalcz, Director of Northern Ireland’s mental health anti stigma campaign ‘Change Your Mind’ commented: “Films like Troubles are so important in our campaign to stamp out the stigma that surrounds this issue. Not only will Troubles raise awareness of mental health but, thanks to the filmmakers great generosity, it will also raise much needed funds for Inspire – the charity behind “Change your Mind”. To hear today that their donation to Inspire will be doubled is truly appreciated.”
Director Jonathan Harden commented, “I had a great meeting with the folks at Inspire in Belfast last week, and found out more about their fantastic work. I came out even more certain that we’re backing the right cause and delighted to have built a relationship with them that will enable us to draw on their expertise going forward. As we enter the last week of fundraising for the film, we decided to double the percentage we’ll be sending their way”
Following his directorial debut earlier this year with the Belfast boxing film Guard, which has some early success on the international film festival circuit, Harden and the team behind Troubles has turned once again to online ‘crowdfunding’ for this latest film. So far, they have raised 40% of their target amount, but with a week to go, time is running out.
Taking about the project, Harden said. “Our last film, a female-led Belfast boxing film, was an easy sell, but Troubles is a very different proposition. It’s hard to get people excited about mental health in the same way. In reality, it’s a bigger fight in every sense.”
In an intentional twist, the ‘Troubles’ referred to in the title are not the ones most obviously associated with the province. This latest film focuses on the highly topical issue of male mental health, something Harden is passionate about.
“It’s no secret that Northern Ireland has a much higher incidence of mental health problems than the rest of the UK and no surprise that we also have the highest suicide rate” he says. “With Troubles, we’re trying to address the issue head on while also raising money for Inspire so that they can continue to have a positive impact on the ground.”1
Whilst his first film, Guard, raised £875 for Womens Aid NI, a percentage of Troubles budget has been pledged to Inspire. While the figure to date has been 5%, for the final week, double that amount will make its way to the local mental health charity.
“I love everything about Inspire and the things that they do for people here dealing with mental health issues”, explains Harden. “It was great to get to meet them and find out more. What was most encouraging of all was the suggestion that our film could be used to start discussions with their users. That we can be part of the process of helping people change their minds about mental health. That’s priceless.”
Films donating money to charity definitely isn’t standard practice, but so far, Harden says nobody has thought it’s anything other than a great idea. Last year, the same charitable instinct attracted the attention of backers including James Nesbitt and Gillian Anderson as part of the effort to fund Guard. The completed film, which Harden directed in Belfast this Spring, and which featured Game of Thrones stars Michael McElhatton and Ian McElhinney, has already screened to great acclaim at festivals around the world, including its US premiere at the prestigious Oscar and BAFTA qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival in August.
And Harden is no stranger to movie successes. As well as plenty of locally made movies, it was recently revealed that he’d landed a part in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as currently appearing in cinemas as Kaiser Wilhelm in Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul, opposite Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard. His wife, Bronagh Taggart, who penned BBCNI’s 6Degrees, Guard and now Troubles is another familiar face, most notably as Gail McNally in The Fall.
In spite of all that though, the couple can’t rest on their laurels and are still battling to find the last bit of the budget needed to make Troubles.
The ‘perks’ for donating this time include tickets for private screenings in both London and Belfast. For £10, you can see your name in the credits alongside fellow supporters. Last time, those included the Northern Irish cast of The Fall, Peaky Blinders and Coleraine TV star James Nesbitt. And of course, a percentage of it all goes to Inspire.
To find out more about Troubles, see the full range of perks and be part of its growing list of backers, visit www.troublesfilm.com