Film focuses on mental health in memory of Evie

A CROWDFUNDING project has been set up to finance a film tackling mental health issues in young people in memory of a talented dancer who took her own life.

Evie Douglas with her mother Freda.

 Picture: contributed
Evie Douglas with her mother Freda. Picture: contributed

Evie Douglas, 21, had stopped her treatment with an outpatient team at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary just a week before she died at her flat in Canonmills in November.

The popular dance instructor, who grew up in Peebles, had struggled with depression over many years.

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Heartbroken at her untimely death, school friend Jamie Delves and his mother Catriona Taylor have decided to make a film inspired by Evie to examine the treatment of young people in Scotland suffering from mental health issues.

Ms Taylor, who has been artist in residence with the Scottish Centre of Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh University, said: “Jamie had been really affected by her death, like so many of her friends and those who knew her.

“We had made a short film with Evie dancing last year. She was an amazing dancer and I just loved working with her as she was so fantastic.

“I saw the footage again and knew we had to do this with Evie at the heart, so we could tell her story.”

Entitled Careless, the filmmakers plan to run workshops with young people who will use drawing and creative writing to describe depression and the effects will be animated and interwoven with interviews and footage of Evie dancing.

Ms Taylor, an Edinburgh College of Art alumna, is in talks with the Scottish Government over screenings of the film once it has been completed.

Working alongside her on the project will be Edinburgh University student Jamie, 21, and her daughter Caitlin Delves, 23, who is a third-year film and media student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.

More than £10,700 has been donated to the Kickstarter page dedicated to the project but it needs to raise £12,000 to get off the ground.

Evie’s mum Freda Douglas said she was “overwhelmed by the generosity” towards the project, which she hopes will continue Evie’s legacy.

Mrs Douglas, 53, said: “The film provides me with enormous comfort. I only had one child and sharing her story has become my purpose. Dancing was Evie’s greatest passion in life and I want the footage of her dancing to be shared.”

Evie had planned to undertake a postgraduate course at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London. Her family are now hoping to set up a scholarship in her honour at the school.