An issue close to all our hearts here at Moviola HQ is mental health.
This week marks Dementia Action Week run by the Alzheimer’s Research UK – the UK’s leading dementia research charity – in a concerted effort to raise awareness for this debilitating condition which affects 850,000 people in the UK alone – 40,000 of whom are under the age of 65.
The video below is a funny and honest approach to how children (and many adults) perceive Alzheimer’s to manifest itself in individuals
Dementia can be scary, upsetting & disorientating, which makes going to see a film in a communal setting near-impossible. Being in a dark room with loud noises and a lack of familiarity can be too much for individuals affected, often relying on a loved-one or carer to help with everyday life.
Recently, cinema has done its part to illustrate how dementia does not discriminate when it comes to age. In the 2015 film, STILL ALICE, Academy Award-Winning Actress Julianne Moore plays the titular role of a woman who begins to encounter the symptoms of early-onset dementia. With correct diagnosis, recognition by her loved ones and medical practitioners, she is able to navigate her way around her condition. The film provides a frank account of the symptoms, but also how those around her can alleviate some of the factors which makes the condition difficult to live with.
At Moviola we can provide support, guidance and materials for community cinemas to help involve those who find it difficult to enjoy the cinema in the way they have been accustomed to. We have several community venues within our network providing occasional dementia-friendly screenings, serving as a lifeline for dementia and other memory-loss sufferers.
More often than not, musical films such as Bohemian Rhapsody, The Commitments, The Blues Brothers or even classics like Summer Holiday can prove extremely effective to stir up a sense of nostalgia with those who have memory loss. Whether it’s a melody or even a chord that strikes with something deeply embedded in someone’s past, music in a film can transport people into positive states of mind.
Though it’s not just about the films themselves!
Dementia-friendly screenings have a few easy-win factors involved – such as bold signage, slightly-raised lights and lowered sound, so should someone feel at unease, they can feel less immersed & scared in a dark room. The fantastic website Inclusive Cinema has plenty of advice, statistics and information on how to run dementia-friendly screenings, alongside other types of specialist screenings which help bring communities together.
For more information about dementia-friendly screenings, please get in contact with Neil, our Communication & Diversity Officer who would be happy to help arrange or discuss them with you.
These can be found here.
Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Dementia Action Week runs from 20th – 27th May and further information on how you can help or be supported can be found on their website or via their social media following the hashtag #AskUsAnything