Two Major activities of FOM 2014 are

Feature Film section

Screening of feature films and documentaries  followed by an interactive session with the audience

A competition section

The competition section seeks to counter negative, inaccurate and clichéd images of people with mental illness. We invite clean, accurate, realistic and optimistic short films (under 5 minutes) to counter stigma associated with mental illness or portray what you believe is good and positive mental health.

The theme for FOM 2014 is "Leading Fulfilling life with Mental Illness"

Realizing that there is life after mental illness will alter the way mental illnesses and persons with mental illnesses are viewed. It will make people more responsible towards providing treatment for these illnesses. It is time to shed dejection and resignation and act when faced with mental illness.

The previous editions of the festival have seen some very nice and promising short films from young and inspired persons most of them students and future film makers. So we expect good participation from all over the country for this year.

The short film could portray any of these issues which highlight the positive/negative impact of attitudes/ expression of emotions/ coping with mental disorders. Any of the mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, drug abuse and alcoholism) can be selected for this purpose.

The entries for the festival can showcase one or more of the following:

  • Success stories of people with mental illnesses.
  • -  Creating awareness about any one of the various mental illnesses (e.g. Schizophrenia, Depression, Learning disorders, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, etc)
  • Sensitizing the audience about mental disability in general or a specific disorder
  • - Focus on inclusion – “Do not exclude- Dare to care”
  • - Dispel the many myths (false beliefs) about the mentally ill.
  • - Impact of discrimination on the mentally ill individual and their families and the stigma experienced by them.
  • - Taking care of a mentally ill person – Success and burden.
  • - Successful ways of coping with stress in life resulting in good mental health

General guidelines

Should be well crafted, innovative, well structured and well researched and should lend a voice to people with mental health problems.

Should demonstrate clear understanding of the issues and due sensitivity in handling the subject and use of language.

Should reflect views or experiences of people with mental health problems. Remember their version of issues concerning mental illnesses is more authentic than all others like professionals, caregivers, social workers etc.

Remember there is more to a person than his illness. Show life beyond the illness in question and encourage the audience to see beyond the person’s condition.

Make sure that inclusion of specifics is not solely for dramatic effect thereby making it counterproductive (eg: Violence, self-harm, suicide etc.) A balance between providing information that is helpful to the public and the need to protect the vulnerable against damaging actions is essential.

Remember

Media persons contribute to the way we understand mental distress and have the power to change hearts and minds. The best programs give us the real story about mental health told by those who know. They shed light on the hidden, uncovering injustice, prejudice and have an enormous impact on the people they reach.

What is Stigma?
Stigma results from negative attitudes such as fear, rejection, avoidance, and discrimination by the society, leading to social isolation of persons with mental illness and their families. Due to the stigma, people with mental health problems internalize public attitudes and become so embarrassed or ashamed that they often conceal symptoms and fail to seek treatment.

The International Conference on Schizophrenia (IConS) scheduled from August 21-23, 2012 in Chennai (Madras) India. It is organized by Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF), India’s premier Non Government Organization, committed to the cause of schizophrenia. SCARF is collaborating with the World Psychiatric Association on the global anti-stigma campaign and is also a Collaborating Centre for the World Health Organization.

Organized by: SCARF- Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai