We are pleased to offer for review In the Real –  a new film by Conor McCormack – which launches at the Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne on 14 July 2015, 5-8pm. Expressions of interest are invited from clinicians, mental health professionals, group facilitators, voice-hearers and their families and carers.

‘Filmed over two years in collaboration with the Bristol Hearing Voices Network, a self-help group for people who hear voices, In the Real is a 59min observational documentary film which goes to the heart of the voice-hearing experience. Who, or what, are the voices that only these men can hear? What do they say and what do they mean? And how does hearing voices transform their sense of self and world?

Our guides for this journey are the voice-hearers themselves. The filmmaker has been given access to this remarkable community forged on the medicated margins of society. From outpatient clinic to riverside, bedsit to park bench, In the Real offers a rare insight into the inner logic of each character’s madness through the intimate moments of the everyday. By exploring the ways voice-hearers negotiate the complex deadlocks of psychosis and help each other to make sense of their unusual experiences, the film shows how, contrary to popular misconception, hearing voices can play a positive, creative and stabilising role in people’s lives.

These are stories of resilience and survival, of loss and love, of the creation of a world outside the mainstream, a place where one can remain open to all kinds of human experience. These are powerfully emotive stories that explore the boundaries of human subjectivity, taking the viewer to a place where the available mental health discourses start to break down. In telling these stories, In the Real will lead viewers to ask new questions about the nature and reality of mental health and illness.’

The UK launch of In the Real will be followed by a panel discussion on the dynamics of Hearing Voices Groups and their role in helping people accept and make sense of their experiences, featuring the makers and protagonists of the film, Jacqui Dillon, the chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, and Dr Angela Woods, co-director of Hearing the Voice.

If you would like to review In the Real (approximately 1000-15000 words in length), please email Victoria Patton with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the film. Reviewers will receive two free tickets to the wine reception, film screening and panel discussion.

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