CNWL Arts in Health film wins award

The True Cross, a short film produced by CNWL Arts in Health in partnership with Creating Freedom, an international theatre, film and educational company based in London, has received a Special Diploma for Professionalism and Ethics of the Director at the Krivoy Rih Film Festival in Eastern Ukraine.

Set in medieval times, The True Cross follows a group of defeated crusaders and pilgrims returning from the Holy Land. Staff and residents of Horton Rehabilitation Services, a CNWL inpatient unit which provides care and support for people who have complex mental health issues, play all the roles in the film and the film was shot in and around the grounds of the unit.

Engaging in arts has been shown to improve health and wellbeing, and CNWL Arts in Health aims to encourage artistic expression and engagement, fueling inclusiveness and motivation both during and after therapy.

Jorge Camarena, CNWL Arts Therapist, said: “This is great news! Our aim is for the film to be seen by a wider audience of health professionals and arts organisations as such exposure has the potential to challenge existing perceptions of mental health problems and increase awareness of this innovative way of working.”

David Dunkley, Rehabilitation Service Director, said: "I'm delighted the True Cross has won this award. This is the second Arts in Health film made with patients at Horton Rehabilitation Services; the first film, The Duel, also won an award. The CNWL Arts in Health Team is small, supported by volunteers, and has been hugely successful in engaging patients in a range of exciting projects, of which The True Cross is an excellent example."  

The production was organised in collaboration with Alex Dower, Artistic Director of Creating Freedom. Alex said: “The benefits of challenging participants in this way include increased self-esteem, awareness and confidence, tolerance of others, discipline and sensitivity. Participants also develop skills in character analysis, team work and anger management.”