Luton musician's film highlighting the issues of living with dementia shortlisted for industry award
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A short film made with Luton musician and record producer Ronald Amanze, who lives with dementia, has been shortlisted for an Osprey Short Film Award and will be screened at the Keswick Film Festival on March 26 at Theatre by the Lake in the North of England.
Ronald co-created the soundtrack for the film, which highlights how the digital world impacts older people’s everyday lives, particularly when those lives are also complicated by the challenges of dementia. He rejects the phrase ‘dementia sufferer’ and is an advocate for the message that life following this stigmatised diagnosis can still be lived to the fullest. His message is that with the right adaptations, opportunities, cultural awareness, and recognition people with dementia from all backgrounds can collaborate and produce valuable work that deserves to be seen by everyone.
The shortlisting of this film for a prestigious award recognises Ronald’s abilities and gives a platform to showcase his work to a wide audience. The film itself is called I Think I Know My Own Mind and it expresses the findings of research conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden by Dr Sarah Wallcook, who originally comes from the UK.
As the vocalist, Ronald gives voice to the 128 people who took part in the research from all around the UK and shared stories of technological successes, curiosity, frustrations, and dejection.
In December 2020, during the second lockdown, Sarah commissioned Ronald to work remotely with another artist and musician, Jilly Jarman, to musically express these stories. Ronald regularly sent recorded clips attached to emails, which Jilly responded to, and then Ronald improvised in reply. This musical conversation gradually built over six months until the final five-minute recording was complete. Everything was handled by phone, email, Zoom and Twitter.
Ronald explains: “Coming in the lockdown, this project was something beautiful to do, and something that I really needed to give me purpose and to feel a part of something bigger. With the right technology, you can connect with people all around the world and never need to meet them to build a good relationship. For me, the right technology was using Garageband, which I’m familiar with, and sending files by email, but for someone else that might be different.
"Often people from services invite me to be a part of projects, but they aren’t inclusive, and they don’t involve me meaningfully, which frustrates me and makes me feel like a token in a conversation. With ‘I Think I Know My Own Mind’ I have been properly included from the start and it’s meant that I can show that people with dementia shouldn’t be written off and stigmatised and ignored. I am really happy about this film being shortlisted for an Osprey Award because it makes me feel recognised for what I can do, and what I bring to the table when I am involved meaningfully.”
The Osprey Film Awards celebrate films with a connection to Cumbria, where Jilly Jarman is based and where 56 of the research participants lived. I Think I Know My Own Mind is one of ten films shortlisted to win on the 26 March screening at the Keswick Film Festival. To watch Ronald’s film, visit Youtube. o watch Ronald’s film, visit