The Union for Mental Health in cooperation with the CoolConnections Art Association, the Blagosphere Film Club, and the Pilgrim Film Platform, is holding a series of film screenings about people with mental disabilities on the eve of World Mental Health Day.
In Russia, as in the rest of the world, there is a persistent trend towards an increase in the number of people suffering from mental and behavioral disorders. These people are dedicated to films that will be screened at the “Home is Better” Film Club (September 28 at 19.00, Blagosfera Center) and the III Docu-MENTAL Film Festival (October 8-11, Illusion cinema).
A total of seven films will be presented, which are communicated not only thematically, but also visually. They have a lot of light — filled spaces-from electric lamps, flames, sun and caring people. All the films are minimalistic documentary works with a very careful attitude to the world of the characters, an emphasis on their interaction with people on the other side of the camera and the desire to be heard. We are convinced that the rejection of stigmas and social integration of people with mental disabilities are the direct responsibilities of those who are a little more fortunate with adaptive capabilities. As the Teacher from the “Jun-ha-ui-haeng-sung” (South Korea, 2018) says, we can’t fix every behavior, but we can create a culture that takes differences into account.
We focused on a discussion format with well-known film critics and mental health experts and looked for films with fresh views on the medical and non-medical aspects of mental health.
Maxim Yakubson’s film “House on the Outside” will be discussed in the framework of the Film Club “Home is Better”. It tells how Dina Loskutova, a person with a severe disability, moves from a psychoneurological boarding school to a “House on the Outside”, created by the Russian non-profit organization “Prospects” and Maria Ostrovskaya.
The III Docu-MENTAL Film Festival focuses on problems of child mental development, inclusive education, and discrimination against people with mental and behavioral disorders. This event is part of the social and cultural program of the III Congress on Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of the XXI Century – “CHILDREN, SOCIETY, AND FUTURE“, an international interdisciplinary scientific and practical event aimed at creating favorable conditions for the preservation of mental health and psychological well-being of children and adolescents and will be held in 2021 (http://www.mental-health-congress.ru/en/ ).
The opening film of the Film Festival is the only feature film of the program, the Israeli drama “Here We Are” (Israel, Italy, 2020), which entered the line — up of the 73rd Cannes Film Festival. This is a story about a father and his son with autism disorder who go on a spontaneous journey on the eve of separation. A panorama of films about the lives of people with mental disabilities will also be presented by the Korean documentary “Jun-ha-ui-haeng-sung” (South Korea, 2018) — a film about an inclusive Seoul school, where help for a boy with autism is included in the entire class program; Russian-language films about institutions for children with mental disabilities “Barsky House” (Russia, 2019) and “Place of Love” (Belarus, 2019); the story of Norwegian photographer Lene Marie Fossen, who suffered from severe anorexia since childhood “The Self Portrait” (Norway, 2020); and the Czech – Argentine “Solo” (2019) – the story of a virtuoso pianist Martin Perino, who struggles with paranoid schizophrenia.
At the Opening Ceremony of the Film Festival, on October 8, the winners of the International Competition of Films “Docu-MENTAL” will be awarded. This year we received 107 short and full – length works from Russia, Belarus, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Israel, Poland, Belgium and Brazil. Competition awards are prize money and special prizes, including a certificate to promote the film at 15 film festivals from FESTAGENT (https://festagent.com/ ), a certificate for a free listener for 5 closed lectures from the Moscow School of new films (https://newcinemaschool.com/ ), and placement of winning films on the Pilgrim platform (https://piligrim.fund/ ).


III Docu-MENTAL Film Festival Poster

 “Here We Are” (Israel, Italy, 2020)

Film Director: Nir Bergman


“Jun-ha-ui-haeng-sung” (South Korea, 2018)

Film Director: Hyung-sook Hong



 “Solo” ( Argentina, Czech Republic, 2019)

Film Director: Artemio Benki



 «Place for Love» (Belarus, 2019)

Film Director: Lyubov Zemtsova

16 +



 «Barsky House» (Russia, 2019)

Film Director: Anna Altukhova



“The Self Portrait” (Norway, 2020)

Film Director: Katya Hegseth, Margaret Olin, Espen Wallin



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