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Moving Images Film Festival

Since 2008, Vinfen’s Moving Images Film Festival has used the power of film to raise awareness, educate our community, and fight prejudice and discrimination often faced by people who have psychiatric conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and behavioral health challenges.

Thanks to you, Vinfen’s 9th Annual Moving Images Film Festival, Films from the Heart, was a tremendous success! Over 500 people attended the event, which was held on March 12 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Between our sponsors and our generous attendees, we raised over $8,000 in support of our film festival and Vinfen’s innovative health and wellness programs.

The morning began with viewings of Guest Room, a short film following a young woman with Down Syndrome who grapples an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend, and Autism in Love, which documents the stories of four adults with Autism Spectrum disorders. Following was a panel discussion moderated by Vinfen Director of Training and Development Katherine Fox. Panel members included Advocates Senior Vice-President for Strategic Planning Jeff Keilson; Director at IN2U Relationships Ken Renaud; Special Needs Financial Planner at Shepherd Financial Partners Alex Nadworny, CFP; and star of Autism in Love Lindsey Nebeker. The panelists emphasized the importance of teaching sexual education for people with disabilities and communicating to providers, family members, and the public that the desire for intimacy and romantic relationships is a basic human want and need.

After lunch, attendees were treated to a clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver addressing the nation-wide obstacles people with psychiatric conditions encounter when seeking treatment. The segment was followed by screenings of the short film Bumblebees, with introduction by filmmaker Jenna Kanell, and Love & Mercy, a portrait of Beach Boys singer, songwriter, and leader Brian Wilson. A panel discussion moderated by Vinfen Director of Project Management Elizabeth Cella followed the films, featuring  star of Bumblebees Vance Kanell; writer, director, and producer of Bumblebees Jenna Kanell, Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor and Medical Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ken Duckworth, MD; and Vinfen Director of Recovery Services Lisa Halpern. Pulling from their personal and professional experiences, panelists provided context to the films and shed light on the prejudice and barriers encountered by people with disabilities as they seek and manage romantic relationships.

A special thanks to our wonderful panelists, volunteers, and all who attended. And a resounding thank you to our sponsors Shaevel & Krems, LLP, W.B. Mason, CityPsych Wellness, Inc., Jackson Lewis, and Parker, Brown, Macaulay, & Sheerin, without whom this event would not have been possible.