Seizure the Day: Inspiring short film by young people with epilepsy launches at the Irish Film Institute

On Saturday 14 October, Seizure the Day, a short fictional film created by young people with epilepsy and inspired by their experiences, had its premiere at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. Seizure the Day was written, filmed and acted by the young people during a national filmmaking project in 2017, led by Helium Arts in partnership with Epilepsy Ireland.

Absolutely fabulous! So many familiar names and faces. Really awe-inspiring!
– Dr Colin Doherty, Consultant Neurologist, St James’s Hospital, Dublin

Seizure the Day screening: L-R Fiachra Byrne, Participant Leader; Wendy Crampton, Deputy CEO Epilepsy Ireland; Emma Eager, Project Manager, Helium Arts; Participants Sean McGarry, Shannon Keane, Art Oakes; Maria Carty-Mole, Participant Leader; Participants Ciarán Gubbins and Bobby Dolan; Siobhán Clancy, lead artist; Participant Leah Crowley. Photo credit: Thom McDermott.

Over 60 people attended the screening, including participants and their families, Community Resource Officers and participant leaders from Epilepsy Ireland who supported the wellbeing of the young people during the project, artists and filmmakers from Helium Arts who mentored the young people, funders, healthcare professionals and supporters. There was a terrific atmosphere and it was wonderful to hear from participants at the reception afterwards about what it meant to them to see their work on the big screen. Get inspired and check out the film below!

I hope that you enjoyed the film as much as we did making it! It was the most wonderful and educational experience.

– Participant Lucy Prevo, Screening Q&A 

The screening included a behind the scenes documentary, following the young people’s journey from regional workshops in Galway, Sligo, Dublin and Cork where themes and ideas were developed through to the film camp at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. During the Q&A, we heard from participants Lucy Prevo and Shannon Keane about what it was like to make the film. Audience members remarked on how the film brought to the surface the emotions and feelings of teenagers with epilepsy when trying to communicate their experiences to others. Following the screening, further insights were shared during participant and parent workshops.

Here is a little of what participant Lucy Prevo had to say about making the film during the Q&A:

Epilepsy is usually viewed as an obstacle when it comes to creative outlets such as filmmaking and all that it entails. However, we, as a team, proved that wrong. So much effort was put into this film and the experience that this workshop gave us was incredible. Being able to work behind and in front of the camera was amazing.

Another great thing about this workshop were the people. The people who came up with the idea, who made it happen, who ran it, Epilepsy Ireland and Helium Arts. And, everyone I met there, all of the new friends I made. I definitely learned some new skills throughout the journey of this workshop and I know they will help me later on in life. I would just like to thank Epilepsy Ireland and Helium Arts for this once in a lifetime chance.

Participants Lucy Prevo (left) and Shannon Keane take part in the Q&A at the IFI. Photo credit: Thom McDermott.

Our Lives with Epilepsy film project was principally funded by Qualcomm and we were delighted to welcome John and Faye Finnerty on the day. Many thanks to the Arts Council, the Hospital Saturday Fund and the Cork Foundation who provided additional funding; the Irish Museum of Modern Art for the use of their beautiful venue and facilities during film camp; and to all the venues and cafes across the country who supported the regional workshops.

For information on Epilepsy Ireland’s services visit www.epilepsy.ie