Mumbai: Cinema influences culture with the power to shape perception and impact societal beliefs, cinema remains a catalyst to drive cultural change. Mental well-being in recent years has gained some prominence in broadcast content but the need to make it a more proactive conversation continues. To address this, ITC Fiama’s recent survey highlights the need to explore a more positive portrayal of mental well-being in cinema and entertainment.
The Feel Good with Fiama Mental Well-being Survey, 2023 revealed that better portrayal of mental health in cinema would influence perceptions and drive conversations – 82 per cent of the survey respondents felt that TV/OTT can be instrumental in influencing perceptions about mental health, 77 per cent believed that TV/Movies and OTT content can drive mental health conversations. To augment the conversation further and help influence perceptions at scale, in a first in the cinema and TV/OTT content awards fraternity in India, ITC Fiama collaborated with India’s premier film platform Filmfare to announce a special recognition for the sensitive portrayal of mental health in cinema.
At the Filmfare OTT Awards 2023, ITC Fiama and Filmfare announced this special recognition and in its debut year, it was deservedly won by Director Anvita Dutt for her sensitive portrayal of intergenerational mental health issues in her critically acclaimed film ‘Qala’.
A Filmfare representative, states, “Filmfare is a pioneer and has many firsts to its credit. With the power cinema holds to break the stigma around mental health, we are elated to have collaborated with ITC Fiama to acknowledge the movie ‘Qala’. It is a step forward in the direction of sparking a dialogue around a sensitive subject. We hope that the recognition encourages more filmmakers and content creators to initiate more conversations around the subject.”
Commenting on the win of her film ‘Qala’ and the need for positive portrayal of mental health in cinema, Director Anvita Dutt said, “I really like stories where women save themselves. But sometimes we have to tell stories where they can’t. We therefore spin yarns that are thinly disguised veils over such uncomfortable truths, hoping that people understand and recognize it as a cry of help. That is what I tried to do with my story and I thank ITC Fiama and Filmfare for appreciating the intent behind my film. We often forget to ask for help, not knowing there are people on the other side willing to provide it, even if it’s you, yourself.”
ITC Limited divisional chief executive personal care products business Sameer Satpathy adds, “Cinema has been instrumental in shaping beliefs and perception in society, making it intrinsic to our culture. Our effort to make mental health a more proactive conversation continues with the first-ever special award for the portrayal of mental health in the movies. The collaboration with Filmfare marks a significant step for Fiama to reinforce our commitment to raise awareness on mental well-being and encourage positive conversations around it.”
ITC Fiama in collaboration with The Minds Foundation, has also launched its first Virtual Clinic. The Virtual Clinic is designed to enable affordable access to mental health therapy delivered by licensed professionals. It is an appropriate platform that encourages individuals to seek help in an intimate virtual space without the fear of embarrassment or the prevailing stigma. The MINDS Foundation has specially put together a team of highly qualified therapists for the Virtual Clinic, thereby, offering expert advice, therapy, and counselling at the convenience of one’s privacy.
Register here for a professionally qualified therapist consultation from Minds Foundation at an affordable fee of just Rs 300/- per session.
The ITC Feel Good with Fiama Mental Wellbeing Survey 2023 was conducted with 800 men and women between the ages of 16-45 years across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. The survey was conducted by NeilsenIQ in September 2023.