A short animation exploring how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects the emergency services, created by one of our Farnham students, has been accepted into film festivals around the world.
Blue Light, by Harriet Croucher, was inspired by the recent-graduate’s father, who was retired from the London Fire Brigade with PTSD. The hand-drawn documentary film is now set to screen at a number of film festivals across the UK, Europe and North America.
Harriet, who graduated with a BA (Hons) Animation this year and produced the film during her studies, says: “Obviously there is an enormous sense of achievement that goes with having your work screened worldwide, and often a bit of disbelief and bewilderment too.
“For me, making films is all about communicating ideas and sharing experiences. Blue Light is about creating awareness for PTSD, and achieving more understanding for the people who suffer with it. The more festivals it is shown at, the more people get to see the message, and hopefully stop and think about the way they perceive mental health issues.”
Blue Light has been accepted into festivals including the London International Animation Festival, Roma Cinema Doc, Miami Independent Film Festival and the BAFTA-recognised film festival Aesthetica.
“It is an animated documentary that touches on the effect that the illness has on the families of those afflicted with PTSD,” Harriet adds.
“Knowing the way that the illness affected my dad, and the many firefighters, police officers and paramedics that I interviewed for the film, I decided that the animation would be a bit rough and the movements jerky. I wanted to make the audience feel the discomfort and anxiety associated with the illness and for them to in some way experience just a little of what it must be like to be constantly haunted by past trauma.”
The film, which took around ten months to make and was created using watercolours and oil pastels, follows the success of Harriet’s animation, Fruitcake, which went on to receive 12 awards and screen at more than 60 film festivals across the globe.
Having graduated from UCA Farnham this year, Harriet has since taken up an Artist in Residency position at Downside Abbey in Bath.
To find out more about Harriet’s work, visit www.harrietfranciscroucher.com.