Fighting stigma and stereotypes: the NYC Mental Health Film Festival

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On September 26, 2015, the 11th Annual NYC Mental Health Film Festival (#MHFF) will present six inspiring films about life with mental illness, including the U.S. premiere of the feature film No Letting Go, and the NYC premiere of the Voice Award-winning documentary Cracking Up. Filmmakers and cast members will be in attendance for an audience Q&A.

Hosted by Community Access, #MHFF is the oldest and largest mental health film festival in the United States. The festival has screened more than 50 films, attracted over 5,000 audience members, and served as a positive voice promoting social justice and human rights for people with mental health concerns.

Carla Rabinowitz, festival organizer at Community Access, says: “One in four people in the United States lives with mental illness, yet society continues to stigmatize mental health recipients as violent, weak or incapable, and in need of constant medication. This film festival shines a light on how mental health consumers and their families employ humor, courage, and their natural gifts to make positive contributions, earn respect, and counter preconceived ideas about mental illness.”

No Letting Go is among this year’s official #MHFF selections. Based on the award-winning short Illness, this thought-provoking film by directed by Jonathan Bucari, is based on a true story and follows the journey of an American family faced with the daunting challenge of finding answers and help for their middle child, who is eventually diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. Starring: Cheryl Allison, Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives), and Noah Silverman, and featuring Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black), Kathy Najimy (Sister Act), and Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel Air).

Producers Carina Rush and Randi Silverman say: “We can’t think of a more perfect way to premier No Letting Go than in our home state with the NYC #MHFF. We are thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile and amazing event.”

For more information visit the Mental Health Film Festival website.

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