Closing Weekend Virtual Fest – “Stay With Me” Live Screening In Chicago November 12

Just a reminder….the Mental Filmness 2022 virtual festival closes tomorrow evening, November 6th, at 7:00 p.m. Until then you still have time to catch some amazing films about mental health for free that you might not be able to see anywhere else! Make sure to get your final views and votes in, and check out some of the illuminating interviews.

I’m going to post a longer thing about stats later, but every year our virtual festival viewership goes up….by a lot, actually. It’s very encouraging that it’ s getting a wider reach and some repeat viewers. I’m glad that viewers other than myself seem to enjoy it, because I probably get the most out of it. I’d like to brainstorm ideas to improve it in the future, like maybe make it more interactive with a couple of live streams/chats, since I have the feeling it’s here to stay. I’d like people to be able to have more of a discussion about the virtual films.

However, there is one last (for now) Mental Filmness screening planned, which I need to hustle to advertise more. This is our special “secret” screening, secret partially because it’s been in the works for awhile and it was finalized a little more short-notice than I had hoped. Still, I have high hopes that we can draw a bit of a local audience and it will pique some interest. Just as they did last year, the Chicago Public Library’s Diversability Advocacy Committee generously offered to host and sponsor a screening at the library. This time, though, the event will be *in person*—in the meeting room of the Edgewater branch library. The Diversability Advocacy Committee does excellent work year-round in drawing awareness to and celebrating the achievements of individuals with disabilities, including “invisible” disabilities like mental illness.

The bonus screening will be Marty Lang’s “Stay With Me,” which I find to be a very relatable dramatic feature film about a young woman who struggles with an unspecified mental illness and her boyfriend and friend who must cope with her loss to suicide. I discovered that in November International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is observed so the film seems particularly appropriate for that. Though a sobering topic, there is warmth and humor in this film and some realistic writing and acting that make it a compelling watch. Best of all, writer and director Marty Lang will be live and in person to talk about his film and answer questions about it!

So if you are in the Chicago area, I truly hope you can make it out to this special one-of-a-kind event. It should be a lovely finale to our return to live programming this year.

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