Mumbai: On the occasion of World Health Day, Percept Pictures digital arm ‘Indian Chronicles’ launched yet another reality-based Short Film,‘Avsaad’ focused on the topic of ‘Depression’, a challenge faced by over 300 million people around the globe. Directed by Anuradha Nishad, the film is captivatingly narrated in a poetic Hindi version. The essence of the film showcases the journey of an individual in today’s age struggling and surviving under the shadows of the mental disorder called ‘Depression’. The objective of the film is to create mass awareness of the issues and challenges faced by over 300 million people across all age groups around the world and highlight the fact that depression is a treatable condition.
The film was launched on World Health Day, celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, with an aim to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of the 2017 World Health Day campaign is “Depression – Let’s Talk” and recognizes that depression is a treatable condition and seeks to address the fact that, despite this, about 50% of cases of major depression still go untreated.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with Depression increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015, and Depression is also the largest cause of disability worldwide. More that 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries, and almost 7.5% Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders that require expert intervention. In October 2016, according to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) mental survey, the incidence of depression is approximately 1 in every 20 Indians. Given the scale of this issue, Percept Pictures and Anuradha Nishad decided to tackle this problem creatively head on by producing and dedicating the film ‘Avsaad’ on World Health Day to highlight this major health concern and commemorate the spirit of those who have successfully been treated and emerged from the dark shadows of Depression.
Produced and directed by Percept Pictures, this short film continues to add to their repertoire of achievements following in the footsteps of their award winning short film (aids+b)2 which won the Best Film award at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2016, ‘Just Begun’ which received international acclaim for its sensitive portrayal and contemporary approach on the contentious LGBTQ subject matter; and ‘Speaking Pad’ which created mass awareness for the accomplishments & challenges faced by 70 million Deaf people worldwide.Percept Pictures has a rich history of accomplishments in mainstream cinema and has established a strong foothold by consistently innovating and delivering some of the biggest films and hits in the past two decades. It has created pioneering quality content in the‘Cause Cinema’ genre with a focus on highlighting various key issues and maladies plaguing our society today.
Speaking on ‘Avsaad’ and its concept, Aditya Joshi, Senior Manager – Marketing, Percept Pictures commented, “Every third person is dealing with a globally recognized major mental disorder Depression, and even the WHO has raised this as the key focus area for 2017. Given the scale of the problem we decided it was high time to tackle this sensitive issue and create a unique film which explores this area in a delicate yet practical manner. The key to dealing with depression lies in your own hands, and we wanted to highlight the fact that Depression is a fully treatable medical condition. We hope that ’Avsaad’ creates the required buzz to reach out to both patients of Depression and their families searching for a beacon of hope.”
Anuradha Nishad, Director, ‘Avsaad’ said, “Depression alone accounts for over 7% of the total disease burden in India. But we never address it because most of our families and friends don’t believe it exists or simply suppress it out of sheer fear of social stigma. I too have suffered from depression for a while and it wasn’t possible for me to express verbally or share how it really felt with anyone. I therefore struck upon the creative idea of creating memorable stark visuals to my words and presenting a unique short film that could depict the issues, loneliness and tribulations faced by people battling depression.”
‘Avsaad’ is viewable on Percept Pictures YouTube page, “Indian Chronicles”, a digital channel dedicated to enabling and empowering the youth to express themselves. Over the past year Percept Pictures has become a nurturing ground for young aspiring creative talent and ‘Indian Chronicles’ offers an opportunity and platform for young budding creative talents across India to showcase their skills and voice their opinions in a creative manner across any topic that is close to their heart. What makes ‘Avsaad’ special is that the entire cast and crew are all young and represent the voice and skills of ‘Gen-Next’.
Added Aditya Joshi, “Indian Chronicles offers a platform for the youth to express themselves. A decade ago there were no opportunities for the youth to voice their views. And it was this gap area in the industry that gave birth to Indian Chronicles. The youth today are intellectual, enthusiastic and have a passionate desire to make a positive contribution to society. Digital platforms like Indian Chronicles offers young storytellers like Anuradha the opportunity to present their thoughts and feelings in an honest and unrestricted manner.”
Commenting on her first film venture with Percept Pictures digital arm Indian Chronicles Anuradha Nishad added, “To all the young promising artists out there, Indian Chronicles is a platform built specifically for you. I aim to bring many more such inspiring and eye opening stories through this platform, and I hope that Gen Next uses this channel to showcase their creative talents, views and opinions to create a better future.”