Back 2023.01.17

Vilnius Short Film Festival Industry Day’s theme: mental health in film industry

Every year, the Vilnius International Short Film Festival holds special events for the audiovisual industry professionals. On Friday, 20 January, the 16th edition of the festival will take a look at the highly important issue of mental health in the film industry at the Industry Day at the National Gallery of Art, Vilnius.

As more and more European cinema events are addressing mental health and work-life balance in the audiovisual field, Vilnius Short Film Festival pioneers the discussion on this topic in Lithuania. The organisers hope that the good practices and information presented during the industry event will be applied to both the personal and work lives of film industry professionals.

The event will kick off with a lecture Mental Health: Why It Matters by Greta Klidziūtė. “We hear a lot about mental health these days and how important it is to take care of it. But do we really know how to do it? In this presentation, we will explore what mental health is, how to treat it right and what we can do to take care of ourselves and others,” says Greta Klidziūtė. She is a public health specialist focusing on mental health promotion and suicide prevention. Greta works as a project manager at the NGO Mental Health Perspectives.

The Industry Day will continue with a seminar Sustaining Your Filmmaking Career the Healthy Way by psychotherapist and documentary producer Rebecca Day from the UK. Making films often comes with emotional and personal challenges attached. The glamour can sometimes hide the stressful realities of working in the film business: job insecurity, low pay, burnout, rejection and intense periods with long hours away from family and friends is just the tip of the iceberg. In this session, Rebecca Day will invite filmmakers to reflect on the unique and under-discussed issues related to mental health in the filmmaking industry and suggest ways to keep yourselves and your crew healthy and grounded. Rebecca Day is a qualified psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and freelance documentary producer. She founded Film In Mind, a therapy service for filmmakers, in 2018 to address mental health in the film industry. She combines her therapeutic skills with over a decade of documentary production experience to offer consultancies, workshops and therapeutic support to filmmakers working in difficult situations and with vulnerable people. She is also a co-founder of DocuMentality, an international research project currently in action that will lead to the creation of an online support space for documentary makers. 

Next in the programme is a discussion Prioritising Well-being and Mental Health in Filmmaking. It will focus on such questions as how to juggle different projects, roles, commitments in a healthy way while working in the film industry and how to maintain proper work-life balance. The discussion will feature Busan International Short Film Festival programme coordinator Sanghoon Lee, producer Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė, film communication specialist Rita Stanelytė and will be moderated by psychologist, founder of Mindletic start-up, Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė.

European Stories: short films by European filmmakers

In continued collaboration with the Creative Europe Desk Lithuania MEDIA Office, the festival will present a programme of latest short films by European filmmakers, European Stories during the Industry Day. The selection consists of films with an underlying ritual theme of the transition from one stage of life into another: it expresses a farewell to childhood or carefree adolescence and depicts liberation from the boundaries set by society. These films have been well received at the major international festivals, such as Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs, Busan, to name a few. And now they continue their journey in Lithuania. All the films in the programme are the result of collaboration between Europe’s leading film production companies and talented emerging directors. Their productions were funded by the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

Free One-to-One sessions with psychotherapist, mental health specialist Rebecca Day

Those interested in learning more about mental health will have an opportunity to take individual consultations with Rebecca Day on 20, 23, 24 January. They are aimed at filmmakers and industry professionals willing to discuss mental health issues in their projects. One-to-One sessions will build on the topics discussed during the workshop, giving the participants time to reflect on personal challenges in their careers in a therapeutic setting.

Limited seats, so registration in advance required by filling out an application before 17 January HERE.

All the Industry Day events are in English, free of charge. Registration required: HERE.

More information: 

Industry Day is part of the 16th edition of Vilnius Short Film Festival, organised in partnership with Association AVAKA and the EU Creative Europe MEDIA office.