Illuminate is a series of carefully curated film and discussion events which each focus on a differing aspect of mental health.

Illuminate is Ireland’s first and only mental health film programme dedicated to promoting awareness and discussion about mental health and wellbeing, through the accessible medium of film. Initiated in 2014, Illuminate takes place annually as part of Cork Film Festival in partnership with Arts+Minds, HSE Cork Mental Health Service. Illuminate provides a unique platform for filmmakers, mental health service providers, service users, family members, friends and festival-goers to come together to view specially selected films which explore universal themes of mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health is a universal issue and film has a unique position as a vehicle for meaningful discussion about our mental wellbeing.


Find out more about the Illuminate Programme film titles in 2017:


Sat 18 | 12.00 | Triskel Christchurch
T. Villaverde | Portugal, France | 2017 | 136mins | Subtitled

Marta (Alice Albergaria Borges) is an introverted 17-year-old girl living with her parents in the suburbs of Lisbon. He father (Joao Pedro Vaz) is unemployed and with money tight, her mother (Beatriz Batarda) works a second job in the evenings. Drifting and depressed, Marta’s self-harming becomes increasingly desperate, though she finds a sympathetic purpose when a friend confides that she is pregnant. Meanwhile, Marta’s father resorts to reckless measures to mend his own battered pride. Teresa Villaverde’s languid, poignant and poetic portrayal of a family fractured by oppressive modern living is vital filmmaking, its depiction of mental illness perceptive and humane.

32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide

Presented in association with First Fortnight

Tues 14 | 18.30 | Triskel Christchurch
Hope Litoff | USA | 2017 | 85mins

Ruth Litoff was an artist and photographer who tragically killed herself in 2008. Six years on, her sister Hope picks up a camera, attempting to address her own feelings about the suicide. We witness Hope pouring over Ruth’s remaining possessions, liberated from storage lockers, a collection that included the dead woman’s artwork, journals and a vast collection of prescription-drug bottles. A portrait of how the two women were effected by their dysfunctional parents’ disintegrating marriage is gradually revealed. Yet what becomes increasingly apparent is that Hope is finding little comfort in the process. Instead, she descends into a spiral of guilt, denial and addiction. 32 Pills is a gripping and unsettling video diary that daringly confronts the realities of mental illness.

Keep the Change

Fri 17 | 17.30 | Triskel Christchurch
Rachel Israel | USA | 2017 | 94mins

David (Brandon Polansky) is fond of inappropriate jokes, rarely deigns to take off his sunglasses, regularly visits dating websites and generally fancies himself. Sarah (Samantha Elisofon) is outgoing, optimistic, curious and sweet, without any of David’s pretensions. The pair meet at the local Jewish Community Centre, attending a support group for adults with disabilities. Both David and Sarah are on the autism spectrum, and though their first contact is fraught, a tender alliance gradually develops. Featuring a cast of nonprofessional autistic actors, Rachel Israel’s debut feature is a bold and distinctive New York rom-com which has picked up numerous prizes on the festival circuit.