Happy Soul Festival, the UK’s premier celebration of Black and minority ethnic film and arts exploring wellbeing, is pleased to announce its 2011 programme.
The award-winning festival, now in its fifth year, will take place 31st May – 12th June, and is dedicated to raising awareness of wellbeing and mental health in the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities where these issues are often stigmatised.
Celebrities participating in this year’s event include: Former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno, British songstress Mica Paris, Korean actress Kim Khobbi, Arinze Kene (Eastenders), film director Vadim Jean and Got to Dance Finalist Turbo.
The free festival will provide audiences the opportunity to view and attend more than 15 screenings of – African-American, Asian, Korean and British films and community events – taking place in Wandsworth, Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Richmond, Greenwich and Lambeth, which explore wellbeing issues within BME communities.
Films being showcased during the festival include: the multi award-winning film Breathless, 1999 (UK Premier), Rainy Season, In the Land of the Free and I am Sindhutai Sapkal. There will also be a special performance of the stage production The Patient, directed by Fraser Ayres.
Festival Highlights include: Knocked Out: An evening with Frank Bruno, where the former heavyweight champion will be interviewed about his public mental health battle; the Happy Soul Youth Film Awards, which will see young people from schools and community groups in South London making short films which explore mental health awareness from their experience and the World Music closing festival event where Mica Paris will be performing.
Community well-being and feel-good events include: How to Respond, Tamil, Belly and Street dance workshops, Yoga, Massage, Food for Thought, An Evening of Iranian Wellbeing and a Five – a-side football tournament.
Raficq Abdulla, Happy Soul Festival Chairman said: “I’m pleased to be able to chair Happy Soul Festival which has been the brain child of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. The Trust has allowed and encouraged us to become an independent charity because Happy Soul Festival is intending to carry out its work concerning mental health issues relating to BME communities London-wide, and to continue its work well into the future. This is an exciting and innovative project and gives me great pleasure and an honour to be involved in it."