Stand Still Q&A

Photo credit @jonhphoto

 

We are so pleased to announce that the award winning film “Stand Still” is out today, 19th February! We caught up with our ambassador Zoë to do a quick Q&A about the film and why it was so it was so important to write about a subject that affects 1 in 5 women in the UK today.

Tell us a bit about the film.
Stand Still is a short film about an unlikely bond between two mothers forged in the
darkness of an episode of postnatal depression. We were selected and partially funded by
the BFI and we premiered at at the London Film festival.

What was the inspiration behind the film?
Myself and co-writer/friend Michelle Bonnard have both experienced postnatal depression
and were shocked that this experience of motherhood (which affects 1 in 5 women) is so
rarely depicted on screen. It was important for us to illustrate that mental health struggles
don’t discriminate. We are often fed an image of an ideal motherhood experience that just
does not exist and we wanted to explore what happens when that ideal is shattered.

How was it writing about a topic so personal to you?
It was actually incredibly cathartic. I am very comfortable talking about my experience of
postnatal depression these days, but that has not always been the case. It was an
immensely difficult time in my life and those memories will always remain a part of me but
there was something therapeutic about channelling elements of that experience into
something positive that will hopefully also be beneficial to other women.

Was it easy/hard playing a part you had written?
I loved having the power to change the dialogue to suit the moment, to make sense of and
bring life to our words. However, I also felt a self-imposed pressure to make sure the
experience of mental illness my character was experiencing, was depicted in the most
truthful way possible. This felt quite raw and emotionally difficult at times.

How long was the process?
In its entirety, the process took the best part of a year, from initial draft to finished film. It
has since had an ongoing life at festivals around the world!

How has the film been received?
It has been very positively received. We have been selected and honoured with a number
of prizes in competition but more importantly it has allowed us to engage with people
through Q and A’s and festival forums. We hope that we have been able to shed some light
on peri-natal mental illness and provide a platform that can stimulate discussion. It is not
an easy subject to talk about but those voices, those women, need to be heard, and
hopefully we are helping to challenge the stigmas that still sadly exist around maternal
mental health.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d also like to add how proud I am to be a continued supporter of MumsAid and the
brilliant work that they do. I volunteered to help over 7 years ago now and have watched it
go from strength to strength, providing an all important place for women to seek help. With
the added challenges that the Covid pandemic has brought to bear, this support system is
more vital than ever. It is a place of hope and recovery and quite literally saves lives.

The film is available to watch here.