Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winners, Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.

The San Francisco nonprofit Art With Impact (which awards $1000 each month in a contest featuring short, mental health-related films that assist in reducing mental illness stigma) discusses this year's winners of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. Awardees include the following:
  • Owen Davies, Today Is Monday. Featured are the lives of patients (especially older adults with dementia) and staffers of a UK hospital's mental health unit.
  • Kathy Leichter, Here One Day. A filmmaker examines her mother's mental illness and suicide.
  • Tarek Raffoul, Piros Feher Zold (Red White Green). Who will care for a 37-year-old with Down's syndrome when his mother dies?
Today Is Monday (dir. Owen Davies)
Piros Feher Zold (dir. Tarek Raffoul)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Free webinars, CSWE's Recovery to Practice initiative.

Via the Recovery to Practice initiative (which provides mental health recovery-oriented training materials for social work educators and practitioners), CSWE offers a series of free webinars that may be taken for continuing education credit. They provide an introduction of the recovery model to social workers:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bilingual Child Month: World Stories.

October is Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month. World Stories is an online initiative by UK charity KidsOut, which provides children's stories in more than 20 languages that can be read or heard online; they also can be downloaded for later reading or listening.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kudos for films in the CSWE 2014 Film Festival.

Several films in CSWE's 2014 Film Festival have received recent recognition. Catch all the films at CSWE's Annual Program Meeting in Tampa on October 24-26 (see film festival schedule and preview trailer).
  • American Heart (refugee health care, dir. Chris Newberry):
    Regional Emmy winner,Topical Documentary
  • A Civil Remedy (sex trafficking, dir. Kate Nace Day): EMMA Award nominee, National Women's Political Caucus
  • The Invisible War (military sexual assault, dir. Kirby Dick): Emmy winner, Best Documentary; Outstanding Investigative Journalism, Long-Form
  • The Sunnyboy (schizophrenia, dir. Kaye Harrison): Joint winner of the Mental Health Services Broadcast Media Award, Australia/New Zealand (for excellence in mental health services and media coverage)

Straightlaced: Free streaming until Oct 17.

Image from
For Ally Week (a student effort to identify new allies for LGBT youth), GroundSpark is offering free streaming until Oct 17 of its film Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up (featured in previous CSWE film festivals).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Disability Month: Film Independence to Inclusion.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. The documentary Independence to Inclusion (produced by Twin Cities Public Television with the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities) looks at barriers to full participation in society by individuals with disabilities and their efforts of self-advocacy. It includes the perspective of Nancy Fitzsimons, professor in the Department of Social Work at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The film was nominated for a regional Emmy in 2014.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Behind the Screen: The New Black.

Note: Moving Pictures is featuring some of the filmmakers from the CSWE 2014 Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. The films will be shown at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Tampa, FL, on October 24-26, 2014. For schedule, trailers, and film descriptions, visit the film festival Web page.

Coinciding with October's Gay and Lesbian History Month, director Yoruba Richen explains below the background to The New Black, her film that examines issues of race, spirituality, and LGBT equality.

Director Yoruba Richen
As a filmmaker, I am consistently moved by the ability of film to change hearts, sway minds, inspire action, and drive change. I’ve felt this even more acutely over the last year, as I've led the community outreach and audience engagement campaign for my documentary The New Black. The film is an examination of African Americans’ diverse reactions to the issue of marriage equalityand more broadly, the movement for LGBT rightsthrough the prism of the community’s institutional pillar, the Black church. During the 3 years it took me to make The New Blackas I documented the intimate, personal stories of African American clergy, families, and activists on both sides of the fight for gay marriageI knew the film would help shed light on the complex interplay among faith, racial justice, and LGBT inclusion. But I could not have imagined that illuminating those issues would inspire conversations that would lead to small but substantive progress in churches and communities around the country and beyond.

What I’ve learned from folks I’ve met at screenings and who have reached out to bring The New Black to their campuses and communities is that the film itself serves as both a learning and teaching toolone that many people had been yearning for. The national conversation about marriage equality and LGBT rights has rarely addressed intersectionality or the unique issues facing Black LGBT people. That’s particularly troubling when you consider the media’s insistence in portraying the African American community as monolithically homophobica depiction that not only ignores LGBT allies in the Black community, but is tantamount to the erasure of Black LGBT voices. When tensions among the Black community, communities of faith, and LGBT communities are acknowledged, there’s been little effort to get beyond an us-versus-them narrative in favor of a more nuanced examinationpolitical, historical, and sociologicalof where these conflicts arise from and why they persist. You cannot talk about the ways in which African American Christianity affects attitudes toward LGBT rights without a concurrent discussion about the Black church’s historical role as a place of refuge and resistance against racism and oppression. You cannot indict the Black church as a bastion of homophobia without also recognizing the role the evangelical Christian right wing has actively played in perpetuating that homophobia. Mainstream LGBT activists cannot call on Black people to support gay civil rights while ignoring issues like racism, poverty, incarceration, and police brutalityissues that disproportionately impact the Black community overall and affect Black LGBT folks at even more staggering rates. You cannot celebrate the dismantling of DOMA without decrying the defanging of the Voting Rights Act. These are critical, necessary conversations The New Black facilitates, and there is no more timely moment to be having them than now.