Television and Film

Mental Health Week signifies a growing awareness and interest in fostering new narratives around mental health issues. First held in Australia in 1985, the annual event coincides with World Mental Health Day on October 10th and includes “Mental As”, a collection of stories on mental health issues aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

These documentaries do a fine job of promoting new science and expressing unique perspectives on various conditions from Autism to Alzheimers. Though if I could add anything to their line-up it would be the cultural documentary CRAZYWISE co-directed by photographer-filmmaker Phil Borges. In this program we learn how indigenous cultures encourage exploration of altered states—what emerges is an understanding that ‘reality is relative’ to the individual and the culture.

People with unique sensitivities are offered guidance and respect to empower self discovery and confidence to embrace their differences. This is starkly different from the stigma associated with different states of mind amongst modern society. Shapeshifting and vision quests move beyond concepts of fiction or myth—this film shows how these practices represent an opportunity to master states of heightened awareness and to skilfully navigate new experiences with an open mind.

CRAZYWISE examines the effects of how modern vs traditional cultures approach mental health and what the outcome is for people who are labeled as mentally dysfunctional, disturbed or disabled. What are the consequences of diagnosing and prescribing drugs to treat an illness? Should we consider it a unique form of insight when someone hears voices in their head or experiences hallucinations? Is it better to administer pharmaceuticals to dampen these aberrations or enhance them? The film poses these questions, but also offers audiences a more expansive and inclusive view of mental health. It is a noteworthy omission from ABC’s “Mental As” showcase, one which reveals the mental health costs of limiting our state of mind.

Read our interview with Phil Borges in issue 47.

Phil Borges, a social documentary photographer and filmmaker, has been documenting indigenous cultures for over 25 years. His films and photographs are exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Phil has hosted television documentaries on indigenous cultures for Discovery and National Geographic. As an experienced lecturer, he has spoken at multiple TED talks. Phil directed 13 short documentaries focusing on gender based issues around the world for UN Women, CARE, ReSurge, joinFITE, Foundation for Women and One Heart. Two recent films include: One Heart in Nepal (2012, 6:39 min), and Ms. Trung (2012, 4:51 min).

CRAZYWISE is available to stream, download or purchase as a DVD. You can also attend or host a community screening, details @ crazywisefilm.com

“The Wild North East”, produced by SCOTLAND: The Big Picture on behalf of the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, offers a refreshing view of this iconic landscape.

This innovative take on documentary, succeeds in broadening both the appeal and perspective of the film. Delighting viewers with hidden gems of the highlands brought vividly to life for all to discover.

SCOTLAND: The Big Picture produces compelling visual media that promotes the benefits of a wilder Scotland for people and wildlife. Our team of photographers, filmmakers, writers, designers and educators are all motivated by the need to rebuild healthy ecosystems across Scotland. We work as a Social Enterprise, on a non-profit basis, meaning that any financial surplus is ploughed back into projects that help promote the case for a wilder Scotland.

BE part of the Big Picture #ThinkLikeAMountain.

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Wildscreen is the world’s leading international festival celebrating and advancing storytelling about the natural world.

For over 30 years our prestigious biennial Festival has been convening and celebrating the world’s best natural world storytellers.

Through collaboration with our ever-growing community of filmmakers, photographers, broadcasters, technologists and conservation organisations we aim to transform the craft of natural world storytelling across platforms and across audiences, ensuring as many people as possible experience the natural world, feel part of it and want to help protect it.

FESTIVAL PASSES ON SALE NOW @ wildscreen.org

When a Great Philippine Eagle looks you in the eye, it’s breathtaking. When that crest flares up and those riveting blue eyes connect with yours, there is no question that this is a magnificent bird we must save from extinction.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has produced a stunning new film, Bird of Prey, which tells the dramatic story of the Great Philippine Eagle. Films about nature are evolving to present unique views in stunning detail, advances in equipment and techniques immerse viewers in the world of wildlife like never before. This beautifully rendered story removes the distance we often feel for nature and this empowers us to consider our role as guardians differently.

If you enjoyed this preview of Bird of Prey, please consider supporting the Lab’s multimedia initiatives and other critical work today!

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Lume Cube, creator of The World’s Most Versatile Light, brought some of the world’s greatest athletes to Interlaken, Switzerland to step out of their comfort zones and into the night. Watch Jamie O’Brien, Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Austin Keen, Nick Jacobsen, Kalani Chapman, Kaikea Elias and more do some of the most insane adventure sports up in the Swiss Alps, all in the middle of the night with 250 LUME CUBES!

Create by Night @LumeCube, lumecube.com