Gurgaon Literature and Film Festival fest to focus on mental health
The Gurgaon Literature and Film Festival, in its second edition, will be centred around the theme of mental health, depression and addiction in art and literature, in order to create awareness about mental health problems.
The festival, scheduled to be held on November 16 and 17, is being curated by Shabri Prasad Singh, author of ‘Borderline’, a fictional autobiography that traces her journey of dealing with borderline personality disorder through a fictional character.
“Our aim is to create a safe and comfortable space for people with mental health problems, and at the same time, promote acceptance through dialogue, books and films,” Singh said, adding that several authors and mental health experts will be a part of the festival.
“We just want to create a dialogue so as to make people seek help actively. Panels on mental health will have people from all walks of life – both experts and people who have experienced mental health issues,” said psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh, who will be participating in the festival.
Besides the panel discussions, the event will comprise book signings, book launches and film screening, with music and dance performances in the evening.
The festival was first put together in November 2018 at the Leisure Valley Park in Sector 29 by a group of 18 artists and publishers in the city. The organisers said that most literature festivals in the country were inviting well-known authors to speak, which left little space for upcoming or first-time authors.
“We started the festival with a motive to invite first-time authors to share their views,” said Ajay Setia, a city-based publisher.
However, the response last year was a little underwhelming, said the organisers, as only about 100-150 people turned up. This year’s festival is expected have a higher footfall, organisers said.
“We are constantly making our presence felt on social media. I have got in touch with the city’s book clubs, bibliophiles and student counsellors to increase participation,” said Singh, adding that most people, especially children, don’t know much about mental health issues and hearing about it from their favourite authors could create awareness.
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