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Monster in the Closet: Winner of’s ‘Inspire a Generation’ Film Competition

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This dispatch by grantee was originally posted on its website on 9 November 2011 about the winner of its national film competition – Inspire a Generation – which invited aspiring film makers to explore mental health in a sensitive and positive light. works with Atlantic’s Children & Youth programme in the Republic of Ireland toward improving the mental health and well-being of young people and promoting their active involvement online and in their community.

Monster in the closet

Back in June we launched a national film competition – Inspire A Generation, if you follow us at all you’ll have heard of it. We were delighted with the standard of the entries, not only the production values but the creative way that the entries got across’s message about getting through tough times. The films entered go a long way to illustrate that things can be hard but you can get through them and there are ways and means to do so.

Awards night

We hosted an awards night on 8 November.

Winning entry

Dannielle O’Connell, a graphic design graduate from Wicklow, produced the winning entry with “Monster in the closet” and  talks here about what inspired her and the challenges she faced.

What is your film about?

In this short motion piece,  aspects of mental health awareness are explored through interviews with young people regarding their own experiences/understanding of mental health problems.  All three participants discuss how they overcame their fears of communicating with other people and how talking about their problems was the first step in their recovery.

What inspired you to make the film and enter the competition?

Often an obstacle faced by people struggling with mental health issues is  the worry of how other people might view them were they to express their feelings of anxiety or depression. Conducting the interviews for this project revealed that sufferers of mental health issues feel isolated and outcast, meaning that they are less likely to reach out to others for help or advice.

What were the challenges of making the film?

What I found challenging in the brief was attempting to communicate the seriousness of mental health issues whilst maintaining an upbeat and engaging tone throughout the piece.

What did you enjoy about working on this project?

What I found to be a positive aspect of the project was generating the content, allowing the participants to dictate the narrative and drive the message.

Check out the other entries

First runner up – Dara McLoughlin’s Our mental health

Second runner up – Stephen Power’s Unfold

Highly commended – Beibhinn Delaney’s Self portrait

Highly commended – Karen Murphy’s A problem shared

Highly commended – Carmel Sayers’s My list

Highly commended – Colum O’Dwyer and Ela Gas’s Your life is your life

Video Snag of Monster in the Closet> Visit

> See Atlantic’s grant to the Inspire Ireland Foundation for 


Related Resources


Children & Youth

Global Impact:

Republic of Ireland


Inspire Ireland Foundation, mental health, ReachOut