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Sunday, 16 June 2024

International development charity win at the Big Syn International Film Fest

WELWYN Garden City-based international development charity, Carers Worldwide, was joint winners in the Mental Health Charity Film category at the Big Syn International Film Festival 2023.

A Grand Jury comprised of OSCAR, BAFTA and EMMY award-winners and leaders from sustainability, business, media and policy such as green investor Deborah Meaden, BAFTA, EMMY & CANNES award-winning filmmaker Waad Al Kateab, OSCAR winner Chris Tashima, Freegle’s founder and UK’s resource goddess Cat Fletcher, amongst others, selected the winners of the 2023 Big Syn International Film Festival from over 400 films and over 200 charity films received from over 120 countries.

Carers Worldwide’s film was screened worldwide to millions from 15-25 October 2023

Following a gala awards ceremony at the iconic Curzon Mayfair in support of #savecurzonmayfair, the winners were publicly announced with their films screening on Europe’s biggest screen, London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights on 14th Nov to the roaring support and cheers of scores of onlookers, filmmakers and their supporters.

Carers Worldwide was set up by husband-and-wife team Anil & Ruth Patil, who were inspired to set up the charity based on their work in the villages of India and seeing first-hand the stigma and hardship facing carers of people with disabilities and mental illness. When they became carers themselves for their daughter with Downs’ Syndrome, they knew they wanted to do something to transform the lives of these unpaid carers.

Carers Worldwide’s mission is to achieve recognition of the role of unpaid family carers in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and to transform the lives of carers, their families and their communities through their Carers Worldwide Model.

The winning film was made as part of one of their projects with a local charity partner Uma Educational and Technical Society, and funded by Vitol Foundation. Its aim was to raise awareness of mental health conditions in rural communities in India and to educate the public as to their causes and proper treatment.

1 in every 7 people in India is living with a mental illness. Of those people, over 80% have not received any form of mental health treatment. By raising awareness, they hoped to reduce stigma and help people recognise the warning signs of a mental illness they, or a loved one, have been experiencing and lead them to seek a professional diagnosis and treatment.

Founder & Executive Director of Carers Worldwide, Anil Patil said:

“We’re so pleased that through winning this award, our film is getting this acknowledgement and exposure and we’re able to tell more people about the work we do and the need for it. We want to thank everyone involved in making this film and the organisers of the Big Syn International Film Fest for showcasing so many films working towards a more sustainable future.”

Grand Jury member, Deborah Meaden said:

“It was a pleasure to be on the Grand Jury of Big Syn International Film Festival – the world’s biggest sustainability film festival. Films have a powerful role in showing us the big picture of sustainability and its significance for our own lives through relatable stories from across the world. This is how Big Syn Film Fest is spreading awareness about sustainability and the UN’s Global Goals to inspire positive action.”

The organiser of the festival and awards, Big Syn Institute, is a part of the Centre for Big Synergy, a CSO of the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, tasked to create a thriving, capable and responsible future for us and generations to come.

The founders of the festival Dr Ragini G Roy and Dr Sourav Roy remarked:

“This is the world’s biggest platform unifying the power of all forms of films from shorts, features, documentaries, and animations to charity films and public service videos that draw attention to sustainability, and inspires people to act on the 17 United Nations Global Goals to combat major issues such climate change, mental health, inequality, discrimination, poverty and many more.”

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