Singapore Mental Health Film Festival 2019 | FILM: Still Alice



Still Alice

Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland / USA
2014 / 101 minutes / English / PG13 / Course Language

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

“The toll the disease takes on the life of a brilliant linguistics professor is superbly detailed by Julianne Moore in a career-high performance, driving straight to the terror of the disease and its power to wipe out personal certainties and identity.” — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

“A nuanced and sensitively embroidered performance that is inventive without the slightest hint of contrivance. You go away feeling educated, enlightened and more compassionate than you can possibly imagine. It’s a hell of a lesson in one hell of a motion picture.” — Rex Reed, The New York Observer

“Presents a disease that can devastate any family, anywhere, with unsparing truth and great compassion. Don’t miss it.” — Lou Lumenick, New York Post

2015 Academy Awards Winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
2015 Golden Globe Awards Winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaOfficial Film Page

Official Film Page

Between Earth and Sky

Alecia Neo / Singapore
2018 / 8 minutes / English / PG

What does the weight of caregiving look like? Whose weight do we bear? Can we share it?

These are some questions explored by Alecia and a group of caregivers from Singapore during this year long project. She became drawn to working with this group after personally listening to their stories at a local non-profit organisation over 12 weeks.

An intimate portrait of a community of caregivers and a performance project, Between Earth and Sky seeks to make visible the contributions and needs of caregivers who care for persons with mental illness. The lack of support and stigma towards mental health affects caregivers who often bear the emotional and financial weight of caring for their loved ones.

After undergoing a series of movement workshops, the caregivers were invited to devise a personal performance which draw from their caregiving journeys to create narratives and expressive movements which symbolise new ways of being.

“There’s this notion that socially engaged art is about serving the community. But it’s a two-way relationship. As artists, we would always have our own agendas, and it’s important to be clear to the community what those agendas are. At the same time, the artist has to consider the community’s agenda, and take into account that the community might not want to do things the artist’s way all the time.” — Alecia Neo, Visual Artist

2016 National Arts Council (Singapore) Young Artist Award

Director's Website

What is Young Onset Dementia?
It is commonly misunderstood that dementia only affects older individuals and young persons are immune to it. The symptoms of dementia are also often confused with those of depression and anxiety, and this had made detection even more challenging.

We aim to discuss the misconception surrounding this mental illness, and to explore the signs and symptoms specific to early onset dementia. We will also speak about the challenges faced by persons with dementia and their family – such as the effects of stigmatisation at the workplace. Furthermore, we will also focus on the importance of communication and support from the family, and how we, as a society, can contribute to a more dementia-friendly Singapore.

(L-R Sharda Harrison, Dr Chiew Hui Jin, Chong Ying Ying, Kwong Weng Kwong, Esther Chua)

Sharda Harrison runs her own theatre and education company, Pink Gajah Theatre which she founded in 2013. In 2018, she started to venture into issue based works which lead her company to be involved in mental health awareness. She performed and co-created a piece with Noorlinah Mohamed, called ‘8 ways of touching’ for the Enable Asia Festival, a festival about the awareness of Dementia. The piece of work was later brought to Ngee Ann Poly, where Sharda hopes the work can travel to more students to bring awareness on Dementia.

Dr Chiew Hui Jin is an Associate Consultant in the Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute (Singapore). He is actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of persons with dementia or young onset dementia in the hospital and primary care setting. His interests are in cognitive neurology and medical education.

Chong Ying Ying is a trainer for Family Caregiver Training Programme at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association. She is a registered Nurse trained in Gerontology and has a special interest in providing care for persons with dementia. She believes in the importance of non-pharmacological interventions in slowing the deterioration of the disease process.

Kwong Weng Kwong is a caregiver for his wife who has young onset dementia. He hopes to be an advocate for persons living with dementia so that they can receive the necessary and appropriate assistance.

Esther Chua is a Nurse Clinician, Advanced Practice Nurse at the National Neuroscience Institution with special interest in dementia care. In her 15 years with the team, Esther has contributed and spearheaded projects and initiatives benefiting patients and their caregivers. Some of her special interests are in the areas of Neuropsychiatric behavioural management related to dementia and palliative home care for persons with severe stage dementia. She has done work with Alzheimer’s Disease Association – Exercise and Emotional Support for Young Onset Dementia (Esteem).

Read more about this panel

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The contents of the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival (“SMHFF”), such as film, panel discussions, workshops, and other material from the festival (“content”) are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen, heard or read, during the festival.

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  • The event description was updated. Diff#412071 2019-02-22 05:09:47
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Fri Feb 22, 2019
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