Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday 27th October 2020 – HELP University (HU) and the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) will launch My Mind On Film (MMOF), a unique Malaysian youth film festival, to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2020, a first for Malaysia, in terms of its theme and participants.
It invites young people, aged 16 to 25 to submit their own short film, focusing on mental health, which will be judged by a panel of experts. The competition jurors include YAM Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah, eldest daughter of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, and Ming Han (aka The Ming Thing).
The films produced by the six finalists will be screened at MBO Cinema Tropicana during an Awards Ceremony in early 2021.
The My Mind On Film festival combines emphases on inspiration, expression, understanding and stigma reduction, with a focus on the local Malaysian context.
The MMOF Festival is being run by the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing in association with industry supporters including GRIM FILM, Sony, and MBO Cinemas.
The organisers are committed to making the festival a shared experience with objectives like inspiring sharing of perspectives and ideas and breaking down stigma.
Alysha Kyra, one of the MMOF festival team members, who is also a HELP psychology student commented, “My Mind on Film not only contributes to the conversation of mental health, but engages with Malaysian youth by allowing them to freely express how they truly feel on film.”
The festival welcomes submissions between October 20 to December 20, 2020.
Highschool student, Tan Yann Zhao, a 17-year-old studying at the Australian International School Malaysia, attended one of the pre-launch Q&A sessions in which anyone interested could share ideas, ask questions, and help shape the festival. He said, “Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine and My Mind on Film provides a great opportunity to not only showcase my work, but also share my perspective and ideas on mental health to Malaysian youth. Let people know that they’re not alone.”
Submissions are invited from young people in upper secondary schools (aged 16+) and young adults (aged 18-25). The many prizes being offered include both Sony electronic devices (including the α6400 E-mount camera, A10 Linear PCM Recorder, and WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones), up to RM 600 cash, film industry placements, and packages of counselling sessions with mental health professionals, and university scholarships.
YAM Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, who is also the International Patron of World Mental Health Day 2020, enthusiastically offered her support, “My Mind on Film has amazing potential to give young people a way to share their perspectives and ideas. As we move through these challenging times, we need to do more than just try to help these young people with their challenges and problems. We need to listen to them and talk to them, as they will no doubt be the source of solutions and new growth.”
The first in a series of festival webinars My Wellbeing: How to identify and Use Your Strengths, which includes guests Dato’ Emeritus Professor Mazlan Othman (Founding Director of the Malaysian National Space Agency), and Melisha Lin (‘You Are Not Alone’ Ambassador for South East Asia), will share insights and tips from the science of positive psychology. You can register for this webinar at http://bit.do/mmof-webinar1
Amanda Quah, School Counsellor at Stella Maris International School, said: ‘My Mind on Film is an innovative project for young people, bringing light to mental health issues in a unique and creative way. It also allows them to explore and learn more about mental health.’
Future webinars include “My Mental Health: How to Take Care of It” with Dato’ Dr Andrew Mohanraj, president of the Malaysian Mental Health Association, and one of the founders of the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
This session will be hosted by clinical psychologist Tamar Chang (also from MMHA) who shared her thoughts on the festival: “My Mind on Film came at the right time. Capturing the talent and voices of young people, it breaks the silence around mental health and starts important conversations. It’s definitely a brilliant initiative for young people, by young people.”
About the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing (CMHW)
Launched in January 2020, the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing (CMHW) is a collaboration between HELP University and the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) to support mental health at a national and regional level. This will be achieved through academic research, training programmes and a think tank to anticipate and address emerging challenges and opportunities in mental health and wellbeing. See our first newsletter for more details on CMHW activities. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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