Healthy Scepticism Virtual Film Festival
24-26 September 2021
The Healthy Scepticism Film Festival announces a free programme of online movies and events
The Healthy Scepticism Film Festival has today announced a vibrant programme of movies and panel discussions that will take place from the 24th to the 26th of September and will be free to access via its website and Zoom with live-streaming on its Facebook and YouTube channels. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite.
The film festival is organised by the Wellcome Trust funded Healthy Scepticism project with additional support from King’s College, London. The project seeks to understand and narrate the experiences of medicine’s critics, sceptics, antagonists, and dispossessed and to use these findings to enact positive healthcare change. The Film Festival is part of the artistic and public engagement activities of the project aiming to fill the gaps between research and the wider public.
A real highlight of the festival will be the ten finalists from the festival’s short film competition, selected from the dozens received from all over the world and exploring all manner of views on health and healthcare today. One of these will win the festival’s prize, consisting of £250 and an interview broadcast on the closing day of the festival. The winner will be named by an interdisciplinary panel of judges working across the content areas of the Healthy Scepticism project.
Daily film features will take place across the festival weekend. Saturday’s feature will be “The Pain of Others” (US, 2018) by indie director Penny Lane. And on Sunday it’s “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” (Canada, 2011), directed by Léa Pool. Also not to be missed is the premiere of “The UTI Documentary”, by Healthy Scepticism’s artist-in-residence Rita Conry. The UTI Documentary tells the story of people living with acute, current or chronic UTIs, a condition that is so common as to seem mundane. But it is also all too often both life-altering and also – in the words of producer and historian of medicine Agnes Arnold-Foster - routinely “disregarded, neglected, brushed over, or spoken about as though it’s a consequence of being female and you just have to live with it.”
A set of historical health films, chosen by prominent experts in the field, will provide the public with a flavour of what health filmmaking looked like in the past.
Live events with scholars, artists and patients will offer the public the opportunity to debate the issues raised by the movies and, more generally, healthcare related topics.
Caitjan Gainty, historian of medicine and healthcare at King’s College, London, and co-founder of the Healthy Scepticism project, said: “Especially since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve begun to understand how important it is to take into account the views of those who are usually excluded from the mainstream narratives that saturate the debate around health and healthcare. We hope that the Healthy Scepticism Film Festival will be a space where these overdue conversations can at least begin”.