Film for Glasgow children on the effects of domestic abuse wins awards

Some of the cast from 'Keeping Mum' including Jane McGarry and Mark Cox
Some of the cast from 'Keeping Mum' including Jane McGarry and Mark Cox

An educational film for school children which addresses the impact of domestic abuse on children, and features local young actors, has received film industry awards.

Released last year ‘Keeping Mum’ has received several awards in the Depth of Field Film Festival and is a finalist in this year’s Olympus Film Festival.

The film – which stars Jane McGarry and Mark Cox, better known for their roles as Isa and Tam in Still Game – was developed after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) Health Improvement Team, Glasgow Violence Against Women and Community Safety Glasgow commissioned Baldy Bane Theatre Company to produce a play on domestic violence for P5-P7 children across the Greater Glasgow area.

The play was so successful that the script was redeveloped to produce a high quality film that could be shown to children across Scotland, funded by NHS endowments.

‘Keeping Mum’ and the original play consist of three children’s experiences of domestic abuse and how it affects their daily lives.

The film is now shown to children alongside a teacher pack and workshops which give children the opportunity to explore some of the issues raised in the film, understand other people’s feelings who may be living with domestic abuse, and offers them the chance to talk about domestic abuse with other class mates and their teachers.

The film was produced by Soundsmove Production along with Baldy Bane and is available with sign language, audio descriptor and subtitles.

Maree Todd, Minister for Early Years & Childcare, said at the launch last year: “I want to congratulate the makers of the film for raising awareness of this very difficult and challenging subject. Attitudes towards domestic abuse are changing but it is still a very serious public health issue that disrupts the lives of many children and young people.

“Our strategy to stop domestic abuse, Equally Safe, recognises the issue has very significant consequences for the victim, and that children and young people growing up in that setting are also seriously affected even if the abuse is not directed at them. We want children to feel like they can talk about the tough experiences they have, both to their teachers, their family and their friends.

“We recognise that these experiences can affect children in many different ways later in life and support from a trusted adult at the right time can make a huge difference.”

Barbara Adzajlic, NHSGGC Health Improvement Senior, said: “I’m delighted that the film has done so well. The director, cast and crew committed themselves to this project and produced a fantastic resource on limited time and budget.

“Stella, Natasha and Luke produced wonderful and moving performances that have been commented on by teachers and other professionals who have viewed the film.

“Domestic abuse is a huge public health issue affecting many children and young people across Scotland. Keeping Mum is an important part of our work with Education Services to raise awareness of the issue, to encourage children and young people to seek support and to equip professionals to provide that support.”