TAMIL NADU

Film fete sets the record straight

EXPERTS ALL: (From left) Director of SCARF R. Thara with some of the panellists of ‘Frame of mind,’ S. Nambi, professor of psychiatry, Madras Medical College, actor Revathy and Mitchell G. Weiss from the Swiss Tropical Institute, in Chennai on Friday. —

EXPERTS ALL: (From left) Director of SCARF R. Thara with some of the panellists of ‘Frame of mind,’ S. Nambi, professor of psychiatry, Madras Medical College, actor Revathy and Mitchell G. Weiss from the Swiss Tropical Institute, in Chennai on Friday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: M. Vedhan

Staff Reporter

It tells the story of a young and brilliant woman who succumbs to Alzheimer’s in her old age

CHENNAI: When the credits of the film ‘Iris’ flashed on screen, it was a rather poignant moment at the South Indian Film Chamber Theatre here on Friday.

For the next few minutes, the audience seemed to empathise with Irish novelist Irish Murdoch and all the more with John Bayley, her caregiver.

The film, which tells the story of a young and brilliant woman who succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease in her old age, had the viewers raising several interesting questions on mental health in the following interactive session with senior consultant neuropsychiatrist E.S. Krishnamoorthy.

‘Frame of mind,’ a three-day film festival organised by Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF), a non-governmental organisation, along with Airtel, is aimed at increasing awareness and clearing myths about issues pertaining to mental health. The festival features nine films besides short films in the competition category, all focussing on mental health.

While the panel discussion chaired by Dr. Krishnamoorthy largely focussed on Alzheimer’s and dementia, the audience asked several questions such as the difference between senility and dementia, how one could make out that an elder person had dementia and whether Alzheimer’s was genetic.

Speaking on preventive measures, Dr. Krishnamoorthy said a healthy lifestyle and diet were factors that helped prevent the condition. “Mental exercise is very important…when a person constantly learns new skills, a cognitive reserve is formed,” he said, adding that early intervention improved the living condition of patients and caregivers.

Director of SCARF R. Thara said the response to the films was excellent and that more viewers were expected for the films being screened during the weekend.

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