Festival Programme

MedFest 2012 will tour the UK, lasting one night only at each of the 16 university venues.

A cheese and wine reception will welcome our audience. Events will last 2 hours.

Each university will host an evening of 3 parts, covering a variety of aspects of the theme, in contrasting styles. A panel of 4 experts will be in attendance. These will be made up of film-makers, scriptwriters, public health experts and medical ethicists, as well as physicians and psychiatrists.

Each of the 3 sections will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A session from the audience. 


The evening begins with an introduction by the Chair, followed by:

Part 1. "A Retrospective" – (30 mins)

We will discuss the historical use of film by the state in health education and disease prevention, using an example of a 1950's public education film from the Wellcome Trust archives. This will be contrasted with modern public health advertising campaigns.



Part 2. "A Voice" – (30 mins)

This section will focus on educational films made by those directly affected. With generous permission from their director, Andy Glynne, we will show the BAFTA and RTS award-winning Animated Minds series of films: www.animatedminds.com. We will consider how such films can act as powerful social tools – provoking discussion, dispelling myths, eliminating stigma etc. We will also watch a short film made by Claire Gellard, "Locked", an award winning entry in the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2011.



Part 3. "An Entertainment" – (45 mins)

In this final section, we will question how Hollywood's interpretation of health topics (depictions generally without specific political or social motivation) may impact on public understanding. Films to discuss include those which have transformed public awareness of a particular condition (eg Rainman, autism), those that have educated a generation about a disease (eg. Iris, Alzheimer’s), or those that have served specific political purpose (eg. Michael Moore’s Sicko, 1997). We will view specific clips chosen by our panel from feature length films.

We will question the extent to which Hollywood films in particular have a moral responsibility to make their representation of health/disease accurate, and to what extent art is simply for art’s sake.