Sybil Ah-Mane is a filmmaker based in East London. She founded Flexible Films with her partner, Russell Hall in 2002 and they specialise in producing commissioned films on health, education and community.
She came to England at the age of seven from the Seychelles. She has been both a psychiatric student, nurse and patient. Her experiences in the psychiatric system have shaped and enhanced her work. Film enabled her to explore challenging issues and she believes it can be a therapeutic tool for growth and development.
In this interview, Sybil talks about the childhood trauma she experienced that manifested later in her life which led to being a psychiatric patient. Despite this, she didn’t give up. Sybil went to get a degree in Cultural Studies, started to explore filmmaking and later earned an MA in Television. Having experienced a mental health breakdown, she developed a passion in creating films about mental health to help others.
In 2019, Sybil and her partner created a breakthrough innovation: the Magic Video Box, where those being filmed only see a reflection of the interviewer. This creates a safe space to talk openly and confidently to the camera. Magic Video Box won a Gear of the Year award in 2022.
Sybil believes her most challenging experiences are the ones she learned the most from and it’s important to talk about it because that’s how we learn.
You don’t want to miss:
How she felt about leaving the Seychelles and moving to London as a young girl
How she went from being a psychiatric student to a psychiatric patient
How Eckhart Tolle’s work has impacted her
Why she believes the idea of life and death creates meaning and purpose in our lives
Books mentioned and recommended in this episode:
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