AWI Short Film Competition

Catching Breath

In the midst of a pandemic, individuals in Scotland take the plunge in cold water swimming, exploring how much it can help them manage depression and anxiety while supporting their physical health too.

Content heads-up: mention of anxiety, pandemic- related isolation

Safety heads-up: cold water swimming is most safely practiced in groups and with trained professionals.

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Writer/Producer  – Bruce Murray
Narrator – Karen Bartke
Swimming Groups: Wild Dookers, Nairn Selkies, Hopeman Mermaids, Moray Wild Swimmers, and Anne Murray

Director: Bruce Murray

Writer, director, and filmmaker, Bruce Murray is based in the North-East of Scotland. He has a love of visually telling stories, especially those from his area of Scotland. Having had a career in sales and marketing, Bruce started filmmaking just as an interest, creating film content for social media and local groups. One day, a friend pointed out that his films triggered emotions and told stories well. So, he gave up the day job and went back to university to study filmmaking where he’s currently in his final year at the University of the Highlands & Islands. Like a child, Bruce always likes to ask the question – why in his films? In his film, Catching Breath, Bruce asked, why do people plunge themselves into icy cold water for fun? Prevalent, in the UK, since the beginning of the pandemic, cold-water swimming re-energizes the body and mind. The film uncovers the boost it gives the immune system, providing a natural high, reducing stress and anxiety as well as improving your body’s circulation. It’s also a great way of socializing and meeting new friends.

Learn More


Depression causes severe, negative changes in the way you think and feel which makes it difficult to manage day-to-day tasks and activities such working, sleeping,...

Mental Wellness

Mental wellness is a process that involves finding balance in life, including your social, intellectual, physical (diet, exercise, medication management, substance use), spiritual, economic and...


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