About MHFFS 2022

Location: Filmgarde @ Leisure Park Kallang
When: 4 to 13 November 2022

The Mental Health Film Festival Singapore provides a safe platform for audiences to learn more about different aspects of mental health through a series of films, panel conversations, and workshops. As mental health awareness continues to grow in Singapore, it is also crucial to acknowledge the importance of managing our emotions and discomforts on the subject. Only in doing so can we take meaningful steps to support the mental health of our children, youths, and communities.

For the 2022 edition, we are bringing together 7 international films, coupled with curated panel conversations comprising diverse voices and perspectives on urgent mental health issues.

In addition to that, we will be showcasing the top 10 films from our Short Film Youth Competition (SFYC). The youth competition is dedicated to empowering and enriching the youth community, this competition seeks to widen youths’ perspectives on mental health in Singapore through filmmaking and mental health workshops.

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Feature Films

Mental

Directed by Kazuhiro Soda - Singapore Premiere

6 November, 2.30pm

Japan, US / 2008 / 135 min / Japanese (with English subtitles) / PG13 (Some Mature Content)

A feature-length documentary that observes the complex world of an outpatient mental health clinic in Japan, interwoven with patients, doctors, staff, volunteers, and home-helpers, in cinema-verite style.

Panel Discussion pairing: Accessing to Mental Healthcare in Singapore
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Zero

Directed by Kazuhiro Soda - Singapore Premiere

13 November, 3pm

Japan, US / 2020 / 128 min / Japanese (with English Subtitles) / PG

At 82, Dr. Yamamoto is suddenly retiring from the clinical field, causing anxiety for many of his patients who have been relying on him as their lifeline for many years. Now he needs to spend time caring for his wife Yoshiko. In early spring, Dr. Yamamoto and Yoshiko embark on a new life, facing challenges they never encountered before.
Paired with Q&A with the Director
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About the Director

Kazuhiro Soda is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker. He’s also a recipient of the Marek Nowicki lifetime achievement prize awarded by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. He practices an observational method of documentary filmmaking based on his own “Ten Commandments” which prohibits him from doing pre-shoot research or writing a synopsis before filming. He imposes these rules on himself in order to minimize preconceptions and to be able to make unexpected discoveries while filming and editing.

He is also the author of seven books published in Japan. He taught at the University of Michigan as a visiting professor from 2016 till 2017.

Aloners

Directed by Hong Sung Eun - Singapore Premiere

6 November, 7pm

South Korea / 2021 / 91 min / Korean (with English subtitles) / PG (Some Sexual References)

Living alone is fine, but being alone is hard.

Jina is the best employee at a credit card company call centre. She avoids building close relationships, choosing instead to live and work alone. Jina maintains her solitary lifestyle well until her irritating neighbour, who would attempt to strike up conversations with her, is discovered dead a few days after his lonely death. From that moment, tons of relationships she decided to ignore suddenly start to bug her: her father hounding her over her

Panel Discussion paring: Isolation In A Connected World

About the Director

Hong Sungeun spent her childhood in France and found an interest in films while discovering French movies. After working for a trade promotion institution for several years, she started to study filmmaking when she entered the Korean Academy of Film Arts in 2017. She made her debut with her graduation project, the short Good Father (2018). Her feature film debut Aloners (2021), which was selected for and produced as part of the KAFA Feature Film Program, was first presented at the Jeonju International Film Festival in 2021, where it won the CGV Arthouse Distribution Fund and Best Actor for lead actress Gong Seungyeon
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Woman on the Roof

Directed by Anna Jadowska - Asian Premiere

12 November, 2pm & 13 November, 7.30pm

Poland, France, Sweden / 2022 / 97 min / Polish (with English subtitles) / NC16 (Some Nudity)

Mira is a 60-year-old mother, wife, and midwife and appears to have a normal life. One morning she starts her day like any other, wakes up early, puts her family’s clothes out to dry, purchases food for her fish, and commits a bank robbery.The unexpected act breaks her family and lif apart and she is forced to look within and discover what she must change to ensure a more fulfilling life.
Panel Discussion pairing: Suicide Prevention

About the Director

Anna Jadowska is a documentary, TV & feature films director. Anna’s most recent film WILD ROSES premiered in 2017 at 17th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw and received Stockholm Impact Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival 2017, as well as won in Main Competition at the FilmFestival Cottbus. In 2018 followed the Krzysztof Krauze Award granted by Directors’ Guild of Poland and Polish Film Awards: Eagles nomination for Best Director.

Prior to that, Anna directed full-length feature film TOUCH ME (2003) that received Grand Prize at Independent Film Competition in Gdynia and was presented during International Film Forum at Berlinale. Shortly after her short film CORRIDOR (2004) was presented in Cannes in the Europe in Shorts X: Eastern Europe

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Full Time

Directed by Eric Gravel

5 November, 2.30pm

France / 2021 / 87 min / French (with English subtitles) / PG13 (Some Coarse Language)

A single mother, Julie gets her children ready and drips them off at their nanny’s as the first step in her hectic daily routine in Paris. Between household chores, and her job as a housekeeper in a luxury hotel, she receives an offer to interview for a position as marketing manager.
Panel Discussion pairing: Mental Wellness In The Workplace

About the Director

Éric Gravel is a French Canadian screenwriter and director living in France for the past 20 years. He made many short films within the international film movement Kino before making his feature film debut in 2017 with the French film Crash Test Aglaé. Full Time is his second feature film.
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The Blue Inmates

Directed by Zeina Deccache - Asian Premiere

12 November, 7pm

Lebanon / 2021 / 75 min / Arabic (with English subtitles) / PG13 (Some Mature Content & Drug References)

The film follows inmates from Roumieh Prison in Lebanon who produce a play about their fellow prisoners who suffer from mental illness and are thus filed under ‘Mad and Possessed’ by the Penal Code and forgotten behind bars for life.
Paired with Q&A with the Director

About the Director

Zeina produced the pioneering artistic production “12 Angry Lebanese” with inmates of Roumieh Prison in 2009. This pioneering production as well as the documentary that emerged from the process received international acclaim (8 Awards) and led to the implementation of Law 463 in 2009 (the reduction of sentences for good behavior). In 2013, she created the play “Scheherazade in Baabda”, with women inmates of Baabda prison where they shared their personal stories in an attempt to heal their wounds and hold up a mirror to Lebanese society about the oppression of women. Her 2nd feature documentary “Scheherazade’s Diary” wins 10 international awards. In 2020, she finished the post-production of her third feature documentary “The Blue Inmates” about mentally ill offenders.
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Lucky Chan-Sil

Directed by Kim Cho Hee

5 November, 6.30pm

South Korea / 2019 / 96 min / Korean (with English subtitles) / PG

After a sudden death of the director she worked with for a long time, a film producer Chan-sil is now unemployed. Jobless and moneyless, she begins to work as a cleaning lady at an actress’ place. By chance, she meets a young man who teaches French to the actress. Chan-sil is strongly attracted to him while her old anxieties begin to emerge; her already-gone-youth, screwed love, and broken career…
Panel Discussion pairing: Resilience & Wellness

About the Director

KIM Cho-hee was born at Busan in 1975. She majored in French literature in her undergraduate studies and film theory at Université de Paris, Panthéon Sorbonne for her master’s. From 2008 to 2015, she worked as the producer of HONG Sang-soo in 10 of his films, and numerous short films she made entered various film festivals both in and outside of Korea.
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Panels

Accessing Mental Healthcare In Singapore

Filmgarde Cineplex, Leisure Park Kallang^

6th November 2022 (Sun) | 2:30 PM

Mental health issues are as varied as the individuals who have them. Most people are likely to experience some mental health issue in their lifetime or you’ll likely know someone who does struggle with mental health. It’s a prevalent part of our human experience, but not something we like to talk about that often. When we or someone we love truly needs help, how do we get it in Singapore? Why is it harder for some people to access it than others? Does it depend on socio-economic status? Does it depend on diagnosis? 

In this panel, we hear the perspectives of social workers and mental health professionals working with different demographics, namely the elderly, migrant workers as well as the LGBTQ community. What are the similarities and differences in help-seeking? How can we complement one another’s efforts when it comes to building Singapore’s mental health ecosystem? How can we fight the stigma of mental health treatment? How can we help foster a positive outlook towards help-seeking for others and for the self? Most importantly, what can Singaporeans do to help other communities make sure that everyone has access to mental health care and that the marginalised group does not feel excluded?

This panel discussion will take place after the screening of Mental

Panelists

Coping With Isolation In A Connected World

Filmgarde Cineplex, Leisure Park Kallang^

6th November 2022 (Sun) | 7:00 PM

Our phones, laptops, and devices are parts of us now. It’s hard even to imagine disconnecting completely. We’re more connected than ever, but for some of us, this has brought more isolation, especially since the pandemic. If you’ve felt more alone in the past year or so – more disconnected – you’re not alone. 

In this panel discussion, we explore how we can consider isolation in light of such pervasive communication technologies. What’s the difference between being alone and being lonely? How should we take control of such technologies but not demonise them and consider how they can be employed for connection instead? The panel will also touch on topics like online bullying, how parents can support children who are the victims of bullying and other harmful content online. What are some practical ways we can protect ourselves and form a healthy engagement with technology and social media in this modern age? 

This panel discussion will take place after the screening of Aloners

Panelists

Rethinking Mental Wellness in the Workplace

Filmgarde Cineplex, Leisure Park Kallang^

5th November 2022 (Sat) | 2:30 PM

We spend half of our waking hours at ‘
work, and with the upheaval of COVID-19, we are still adjusting, and some of us, still struggling. With the dire circumstances of the last few years and the economic downturn, everyone is scrambling to create stability for themselves, their families, and their futures. This is a lot of pressure, and it never seems to stop. 

In this panel discussion, how can new technologies, as well as leaders and employees in organisations help pave the way for personal resilience? How can colleagues help one another, and how can we decide what work-life balance works best for us? What is the future of work and what are its implications for our mental health? The panel will also explore practical ways we can take towards mental wellness for ourselves and foster supportive help-seeking habits for individuals who are silently struggling at work.  

This panel discussion will take place after the screening of Full Time

Panelists

Suicide Prevention: How YOU Can Play a Part

Filmgarde Cineplex, Leisure Park Kallang^

12th November 2022 (Sat) | 2:00 PM

Despite the ‘buzz’ surrounding this often hushed topic in recent times, suicide ideation in individuals always seems so foreign and unimportant until it affects the people we love and us. Cut through the noise and understand suicide on a deeper level.

In this panel discussion, how can each of us play a more meaningful role in suicide prevention? How can affected individuals regain a sense of self and harness strength from within to carry on? What are the common misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding suicide? How do various organisations and individuals help one another to fortify Singapore’s suicide prevention ecosystem? How can you play a part today? 

This panel discussion will take place after the screening of Woman on the Roof

Panelists

Resilience and Wellness in an Uncertain World

Filmgarde Cineplex, Leisure Park Kallang^

6th November 2022 (Sun) | 2:30 PM

COVID-19 has stalled dreams and goals, and brought about great losses for many of us. Throughout this ongoing pandemic, we are reminded of life’s uncertainty in such turbulent times—not everything will go according to plan. How can we respond to such setbacks with resilience? 

In this intimate and conversational panel discussion, we will explore how we can practise resilience in our daily life. What is the relationship between resilience and wellness? As everyone processes their setback differently, we will also look at how we can reframe and look at our circumstances in life through learned optimism. What practical ways can we adopt a different lens without downplaying our struggles in order to help with our personal growth and mental well-being?

This panel discussion will take place after the screening of Lucky Chan-Sil

Panelists

Post-film Q&A With Kazuhiro Soda On Mental & Zero

A session dedicated for your to ask and discuss with the director about the movie that you just watched. Kazuhiro Soda will be attending the Q&A session via Zoom.

Post-film Q&A With Zeina Daccache On The Blue Inmates

A session dedicated for your to ask and discuss with the director about the movie that you just watched. Zeina Deccache will be attending the Q&A session via Zoom.

Short Film Youth Competition Top 10 Film Screenings

MHFFS Short Film Youth Competition is back for the third year! The competition has involved over 1,000 youth across Singapore. Through the Festival’s platform, and multiple local and international collaborations, #SMHFFYouth has reached over 20,000 individuals around the world — and the numbers are still growing! By harnessing this powerful medium, we want to continue creating more avenues for our youth filmmakers to advocate for mental health/dementia issues.

SFYC Programme 1

5 November, 12.30pm - World Premiere

English / 90 min + (Q&A) / NC16 (Some Mature Content)

Speeding Slowly

Team members
Shivam Pota
Team Bio
Shivam Pota is a director, writer and editor based in Singapore and London. He is best known for his micro budget short films which vary in genre. He first started making films at age 10. He is currently studying Film Production at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Lifeline

Team members
Aiman Azzarudin, Melody Estacio Wong Yee Ling, Chan Jia Ning Charlene, Siti Nur Insyirah Bte Jasman, Lee Zhen Yaw
Team Bio
Aiman Azzarudin is an aspiring filmmaker and writer whose digital imprint aims to capture a multitude of lessons and experiences from less conventional points of view. Inspired by an array of media and shaped by adversities, he strives to shed light on important but stigmatised topics of the modern day.

Waves

Team members
Feline Yeo, Sherrie See, Grace Lee, Megan Han, Nicolette Neo
Team Bio
Sherrie See is an aspiring Singaporean filmmaker that enjoys exploring the intricacies and dynamism of humanity through her work. She has directed a number of student films and passion projects, with ‘waves’ being one of her first solo directing pieces. She continues to be inspired by both the subtlety and magnitude of the human experience.

The Great Conspiracy

Team members
Nur Sarah Binte Jumari, Mei Pei Lim, Syed Alwi Hadi Bin Syed Fahmi, Ethan Lin
Team Bio
Nur Sarah Binte Jumari moved to New Zealand at 15 and discovered her passion for filming. In 2019, Sarah returned to Singapore, and is pursuing her degree at Nanyang Technological University. With a year until graduation, Sarah hopes to refine her skills and create more stories like The Great Conspiracy.

Grief Booth

English / 90 min + (Q&A) / NC16 (Some Mature Content)

Team members
Claudia Wee, Luen Hui Juan, Heng Ray-Ern, Javier Lim Yi Rong, Ong Jun Wen Andrew
Team Bio
With the earnest passion to share his experiences, Andrew Ong is able to turn his grief into cinematic language. Despite his nascent experiences in writing and directing, he is able to extract important elements of the stages of grief, creating a relatable safe haven for audiences to find solace in.

SFYC Programme 2

6 November, 12.30pm - World Premiere

English / 90 min + (Q&A) / PG13 (Brief Coarse Language)

11 Years After Diana

Team members
Xinyi Yap, Cindy Leow
Team Bio
Cindy and Xinyi have been great friends, ex-colleagues and schoolmates for the past five years. Being interested in filmmaking and having graduated with a degree in Psychology last year, they have decided to make this short film together by applying what they have learned during their university days.

Whispers

Team members
Arshi Das, Aditi Ajay, Madhav Sabu, Vidyuth Vivek Anand
Team Bio
I’m 15 years old, from India and I’m currently studying at Overseas Family School. Before making this film, I made videos for school functions and assessments. And despite this film being my first time ever writing a script, shooting and directing, I’ve always been fascinated by the components that tie a movie together.

Moth-er!

Team members
Charissa Tapay, Matthew Segarra Lim, Meryllyn-Faith Tan Hsin Yuen, Germaine Teh Hui Lin, Goh Wei Liang
Team Bio
Charissa Tapay is currently a Year 3 Communications and Business student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. A film geek, she loves to watch films and Korean dramas during her free time. “Moth-er!” is her first film ever, intended as a summer passion project with her friends.

Sidelined

Team members
Taylor Ong/Yin Meng Ong, Ho Hol Yarn, Amir Bin Zubir, Nicolette Neo Wee, Ong Chong Li Philip,
Team Bio
Yin Meng (Taylor) is a 21-year-old student filmmaker, currently pursuing a degree in communications. While she used to act, she has gone behind the camera – Sidelined is her directorial debut, where she wishes to explore the process of accepting grief. She hopes to write, direct or edit in the future.

Eggs

Team members
Cheryl Tan, Ooi Mae Hweei, Macarius Chia Leyoung
Team Bio
Cheryl enjoys both the process and fruits of filmmaking and believes that the personal is a film’s strongest pillar and pedestal. It is her desire and passion to partner with creative and hardworking individuals to tell stories that stir emotions and provoke thought. Picture

Mental Health Roadshow

Location: Atrium @ Leisure Park Kallang
When: 4 to 13 November 2022

In our inaugural mental health roadshow, we have invited mental health organisations to set up booths to showcase the available support networks and help available, to raise mental health awareness to the public.

We hope to connect festival attendees with the agencies to reduce barriers of help-seeking through face o face interaction and normalising help-seeking behaviour

Mental Health Organisations at The Roadshow

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

5 Nov
12.30 pm
SFYC Programme 1
Q&A with Youth Filmmakers
5 Nov
2.30 pm
Full-Time
Rethinking Mental Wellness in the Workplace
5 Nov
6.30 pm
Lucky Chan-Sil
Resilience and Wellness in an Uncertain World
6 Nov
12.30 pm
SFYC Programme 2
Q&A with Youth Filmmaker
6 Nov
2.30 pm
Mental
Accessing Mental Healthcare in Singapore
6 Nov
7.00 pm
Aloners
Coping with Isolation in a Connected World
12 Nov
2.00 pm
Woman on the Roof
Suicide Prevention: How YOU Can Play a Part
12 Nov
7.00 pm
The Blue Inmates
Post-film Q&A with Zeina Deccache
13 Nov
7.30 pm
Woman on the Roof
No post-film Panel or Q&A
13 Nov
3.00 pm
Zero
Post-film Q&A with Kazuhiro Soda

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