First Fortnight





First Fortnight is Ireland’s unique festival of events aimed at challenging mental health stigma, running from 1st January across Dublin and nationwide.


Now in its seventh year, the 2016 First Fortnight mental health arts festival will see film, live music, spoken word, theatre, discussion, dance and other arts events staged to create open discussion and understanding of mental health problems, and challenge prejudice and discrimination.


This year’s film programme includes the European premiere of documentary study of PTSD Buried Above Ground at Science Gallery Dublin; nationwide screenings of Love & Mercy – an unconventional portrait of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson starring Paul Dano; Rory Culkin’s star turn in Gabriel at the IFI; and for younger audiences, a chance to explore the themes raised by the film Inside Out in workshops on 1st January.



Saturday 2nd January | 4pm | Irish Film Institute

Rory Culkin stars in Gabriel, a heartfelt portrait of a vulnerable teen at his psychological breaking point, struggling to keep it together in the wake of his father’s suicide. Convinced that reuniting with an ex-girlfriend holds the answers to his troubles, Gabriel risks everything in a desperate pursuit that will take him to uncharted places and test the limits of those closest to him. Infused with authenticity, Gabriel establishes first time writer/director Lou Howe as a new filmmaking voice to be reckoned with.



Suitable for age 18+

Tickets are 10 euro and available via /



Monday 11th January 8pm | Nationwide screenings and post-show discussions

Love & Mercy presents an unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era-defining catalog of Wilson’s music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost. Starring Paul Dano, John Cusack, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy examines two key periods in Wilson’s life. In the 1960s, as the Beach Boys’ leader, Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece, Pet Sounds. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Not to be missed.



Contact venues for tickets:

Pavilion, Dún Laoghaire

69 O’Connell St. Limerick

Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray

Town Hall Centre, Galway

UCD Student Cinema, Dublin

Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise

Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge*

*January 22 at 8pm


BURIED ABOVE GROUND – European Premiere

Thursday January 14th | 6pm | Science Gallery, Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

First Fortnight, in association with Science Gallery Dublin,  presents the European premiere of Buried Above Ground, an acclaimed documentary bringing to light the global health condition, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by sharing the journeys of three Americans wrestling with the aftermath of devastating events.

A U.S. army captain learns to cope with his inner war wounds. Hurricane Katrina evacuee Ashley pledges to rebuild her home while she rebuilds herself. Erundina fights to stay sober after surviving child abuse and domestic violence.

Filmed over six years, with intimate access to these survivors as they unburden themselves of the past, Buried Above Ground pays tribute to the human spirit.


Suitable for an audience aged 18+

Tickets are 5 euro and available via


And for younger audiences:



Inside Out Children’s Workshops

Friday 1st January| 12 noon, 2pm & 4pm| Smock Alley Theatre, 6/7 Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8

This year the First Fortnight programme will include a very special event for children aged 6-12, called “Hello Myself.”  Experienced storyteller, artist and workshop facilitator, Paul Timoney has created a bespoke workshop for children aged 6-12 around the themes explored in Inside Out, the film that animated Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear – the little voices inside our heads. Attendees will accompany Paul on his adventure exploring the vast landscape of Emotion. The children will be enlisted to help create art to assist Paul in telling this tale. The workshop is designed to encourage children to learn to express themselves verbally or through creative means.

Suitable for ages 6-12

Tickets are 10 euro and available via

Presented in association with New Year’s Festival Dublin.


About First Fortnight

First Fortnight is an arts-based mental health awareness project run by a core group of seven volunteers that happens in the first two weeks of every year. This is the seventh year it has been staged, although it is its fifth year in its current format as a 10-day arts festival. An awareness campaign in the First Fortnight of the year works because we are all a little raw that time of year and more likely to be open to an empathic response. We expect the First Fortnight of every year to be synonymous with mental health awareness and ending stigma. The First Fortnight charity also runs the First Fortnight Centre for Creative Therapies, which provides an art psychotherapy service to adults with experience of homelessness or at risk of homelessness. First Fortnight 2016 is grant aided by ESB: Energy For Generations, The Arts Council, Dublin City Council and HSE Mental Health Services.




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