Talking It Out Virtual Film Festival to be Presented This May
Featuring a wide variety of short and feature films centered around the topic of mental health awareness
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This May for Mental Health Awareness Month, the Talking It Out Virtual Arts Festival will present its 2nd Virtual Film Festival in Support of Mental Health Awareness.
Curated by filmmaker & Program Manager Maria Fe Picar, this year’s festival will be dedicated to showcasing a diverse range of short films, in addition to two feature length films. Each night will feature a Q&A with filmmakers in attendance, at the end of the festival, the public will be invited to tune in to a livestreamed award ceremony where festival staff will hand out awards for Best Film, Best Performances, Best Cinematography, and more. Tickets start at $5 with half of all proceeds to be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Tickets go on-sale April 17th at www.filmfreeway.com/TalkingItOut, with more details to be announced in the coming days.
Founded by Anthony J. Piccione, the original Talking It Out performance was presented live at the Dramatists Guild Foundation's Music Hall on March 10th, 2019. At the time of the initial readings, Michael D'Antoni wrote a rave review of the event for Five-Star Arts Journals, describing it as having “nothing less than pure, unadulterated, genuine, unpretentious focus on the agonies and anguish of mental illness, while also celebrating the triumphs and accomplishments over those living with, or those living with someone who suffers from mental health issues.”
Originally intended to be a one-time event of minimalistic staged reading of short plays, the event has since been revived as an ongoing festival of virtual plays - as well as an expanding line-up of additional arts programming - presented online via Zoom. At the time of the inaugural November 2020 performance, Jan Ewing of Hi! Drama praised the festival for having “drawn from a wide range of ages and genders” and for “detailing the pain and distress encountered not only by those suffering from the various disorders but also those who support them.” Since then, the festival has continued to reach thousands of artists & audience members worldwide, and recently received four nominations for the 2023 Young-Howze Theatre Awards including for Festival of the Year. Each of the plays is presented by an ensemble of actors from different corners of the world, highlighting various issues related to mental illness - ranging from anxiety, depression, neurodivergency, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, and more.