Bella Riza and Emily Briselden-Waters are British film makers who proposed creating a new film exploring the mental health statistics outlined in the FT article. They were drawn to the description in the article the connects the geography of the UK to the economy, the physical edges such as the seaside times correlating with the economic edges. They felt, as did our local communities, that the story was more nuanced than the statistics indicate. They wanted to investigate the stories of people drawn to the natural environment of the coast in times of hardship and existing supportive networks that held and helped people in these circumstances. Through the research and talking to people in the town they were introduced to a lady called Patricia. After living on the streets and with addiction for 10 years Patricia re-built her life through finding unexpected support from a stranger. Her story was so powerful that it became the focus of their film. Through her story they explore a sense of togetherness and care that comes from being absorbed into a community and re-frames Blackpool’s coastline as a landscape for change.
The film has been shown at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre, Public Health England’s national conference 2019, Designing Protest at The Peoples History Museum in Manchester and Emergence, On Communities and Homelessness at London College of Communication.
The film is available for screening at events local to Blackpool and Wyre, film festivals and events based on discussions about community, addiction and homelessness.
A media pack can be downloaded HERE.