FOM in 2010

  • The theme for FOM 2010 “Role of family in mental health/disorders”

    Winning Contest entries

    The Frame of Mind film festival invited entries that develop the potential for films to enhance public awareness of various aspects of mental health and illness. It aims to highlight the importance of recognising problems that will benefit from treatment and support. This year the theme of the competition was the role of family and community in mental health / disorders. With that in mind, several priorities guided the jury’s assessment. They considered cinematic quality, as indicated by originality and production values. Films were expected to accurately portray mental health problems for which community awareness is needed. The jury also considered how the film contributed to public appreciation of the importance of family and community in either the development or response to mental health problems.

    I – The pages of life

    Pages of Life presented the experience of a young women with schizophrenia and its impact on her family. It showed how partnership with the mental health system could mobilize the benefits of both professional treatment and family support.

    II – Payanam (shared by two films)

    Payanam developed an ambitious agenda for a short film over the course of a train ride from Mumbai to Kanyakumari. It illustrated the problem of the dementia affecting an old man cast off by his family, complemented and the irony of concern and prospects for care from an unlikely source.

    II – Prerana (shared by two films)

    The collaboration for healing of a psychiatrist working with the family of a young man with schizophrenia was presented in Prerna (Inspiration). Based on professional advice, his family encouraged him gently but firmly to re-enter life in the world outside his home, explaining how their role provided an essential complement to medical treatment.

    III – Ghost in My House / Mind

    Although the potential for mental health problems, such as depression and obsessions, is acknowledged by professionals, it is a neglected topic with regard to public awareness. Ghost in My House / Mind presented the experience of a young woman after bearing her first child. She feared that unwanted thoughts about hurting her baby made it impossible for her to be the good mother she wanted to be.

    IV – Ishana

    The demands for service from girl children and young married women in many Indian households have long been matters of concern for social reform. The film Ishana showed the limits of medicines to treat a young woman’s psychotic symptoms without confronting the impact over time of harsh gender-related demands from scolding parents and an impatient husband.

    Special Mention – My Son

    The originality and quality of production was acknowledged for the film, My Son. It presented the awareness and coming to terms with the impact of obsessive-compulsive disorder through the unspoken reflections of the father of a boy with this condition.


    Feature films screened

    On the first day, 1st October… Sreenivasan’s portrayal of the man with an acute inferiority complex in Vadakku Nokki Yanthram (Malayalam); K-PAX (English) – Kevin Spacy’s brilliant portrayal of a man who claims he is from outer space; and the critically acclaimed Marathi film Dombivli Fast (Marathi) that looks at a middle class bank employee who becomes disgusted with the corruption he faces in his life.

    2nd October featured… Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara (Hindi) – explores the downward spiral of a retired Hindi professor, portrayed by Anupam Kher, as he falls victim to dementia; Richard Gere’s Mr. Jones (English) and his bi-polar world, with its periods of intense emotional pleasure and periods of suicidal depression; and the taut and suspenseful Keane (English) – where Damian Lewis delivers a convincing and powerful performance as a mentally disturbed man trying to come to terms with the abduction of his daughter.

    The final day saw… Saaransh (Hindi) which tackles the depression in the lives of an elderly couple and their coming to terms with the death of their only son; Arun Vaidyanathan’s Achchamundu! Achchamundu!, the first main stream Tamil film on paedophiles; and Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller Shutter Island (English), with brilliant performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley.