April 29, 2006

Mental Health Film Festival In Canada

The "Minds Eye Film Festival" is a film festival focused on movies related to mental health that is being shown in Peterborough, Ontario (Canada) this week (May 3rd, 2006).

The festival is co-sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Schizophrenia Society, the Peterborough Regional Health Centre and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It seems like an excellent way to raise funds, and educate the public about mental illness - and something that could easily be duplicated around the world by other support group and advocacy organizations.

The local newspaper in Peterborough had this to say about the film festival:

Two award-winning movies to be shown at Galaxy Cinemas next week will both entertain and provoke audiences to think about mental health issues.

That's the hope of organizers of the fourth annual Behind the Mind's Eye film festival, running Wednesday and Thursday at Galaxy Cinemas.

"One of the goals of the festival is to break down the stigma that 'mental health doesn't affect me,'" says Joni White, an educator with the Peterborough branch of Canadian Mental Health Association, which co-sponsors the event.

Documentary film Everybody Thinks I'm Crazy screens Wednesday.

The autobiographical movie documents the day-to-day struggles of John Cadigan, a healthy and active American youth who began to experience symptoms of schizophrenia during his college years. The film has won awards from film festivals and mental health organizations across North America.

Canadian feature film Familia will be shown Thursday.

Familia tells the story of a young aerobics instructor and gambling addict, Mimi, who sneaks out on her boyfriend and ends up staying with a childhood friend who has her own troubles.

The film has won several awards at Canadian festivals, including best Canadian first feature film at last year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Both films will be followed by panel discussions.

The festival also includes a kick-off gala at Market Hall Theatre on Monday, with live music, art, food and wine and a presentation of Skirting the Edge, a series of monologues about women's mental health issues written and performed by local actors.

"We're really excited about it," White says of the gala and theatre presentation.

"Each year the festival has grown. With Skirting the Edge as part of the gala, it really ties in the arts community."

Also part of the festival are afternoon screenings of films for high school students. Last year, about 500 students attended film screenings and discussion sessions as part of the festival. White expects more this year.

"We're trying to get students to think about mental health and to become aware that when someone gets a major illness, it is often in high school that the signs and symptoms begin to show up," White says.

Minds Eye Film Festival


How do I get copies of the films "Everybody Thinks I'm Crazy" and " Familia", whichwere shown at the "Minds Eye Film Festival" in Canada?

Posted by: berni g at August 22, 2006 02:28 AM

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