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Emotive film explores the realities of living with dementia

A new UK and Norwegian film production portrays the real-life stories and experiences of people living with dementia.

Posted: 14 May 2015

image for news story Emotive film explores the realities of living with dementia
‘I Can’t Find Myself’ short film production about people living with dementia.

The not-for-profit dance film is aimed at carers and organisations that support people living with dementia, to create a wider understanding of the complexities faced by people with dementia, with a positive view on how they can be supported. The 12-minute film entitled ‘I Cant Find Myself’ calls out to all those family members, as well as clinical and care staff, to explore collaborative and creative solutions.

Dr Beatrice Allegranti, the film director and Reader in Dance Movement Psychotherapy from the University of Roehampton, said: “The making of this screendance has been an extraordinary process involving professionals in dance, film, music and dementia care experts – both in the UK and Norway. People’s voices and lived experiences are at the heart of 'I Can’t Find Myself'. The choreography and soundscore for the film is based on fieldwork and verbatim interviews undertaken with people who live with dementia and their carers.

The film will be used for education and training purposes by services that impact on people living with dementia, for example: care homes, mental health nurses and doctors, emergency services staff, and hospital A&E staff.”

The film was based on interviews undertaken with people who live with dementia and their carers, to depict their lived experiences through the film. Through the use of dance theatre and music, the film takes the audience on one woman's journey highlighting the emotional world of memory, love and loss.

Julia Burton-Jones works in Dementia Pathfinders, an organisation that provides education and training for people working in the dementia care field. She said: “I Can't Find Myself may be short but its impact is profound. For those with dementia, it can be difficult to put into words the feelings and experiences they face in living day-to-day with uncertainty and confusion. ‘I Can't Find Myself’ expresses eloquently how dementia affects a person's sense of who they are, and how we can continue to connect with them.”

The collaborative screendance was directed and choreographed by Dr Allegranti and sound composed by Jill Halstead from Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen. It was made in partnership with several major dementia support organisations.

‘I Can’t Find Myself’ will be screened at the Bergen International Festival on the 27th May, and then it will be shown in a variety of international film festivals and UK hospitals and care homes. For regular updates see: www.beatriceallegranti.com/news.

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