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We're Not So Different

By Yian Lu  /  22 Jul 2016 (Friday)
In a joint collaboration by Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and Singapore Film Society (SFS), the inaugural MINDS Film Festival 2016 is set to happen starting next week, 29 July to 6 August! Specially selected to be part of the film festival are My Feral Heart, I Am Sam, Monica & David, The Eighth Day and The Lawnmower Man. In using cinema to raise a new kind of social awareness, this selection consists of films with intellectual disability-related themes.

What is intellectual disability?
Source: MINDS pamphlet

InCinemas got to admit that MINDS Film Festival 2016 is truly one of its kind! When it comes to the persons with intellectual disability, people might have misconceptions or hesitancies in approaching them. But the message MINDS Film Festival 2016 is trying to bring across is the fact that they are actually not so different from any one of us.

We are very honoured to have caught the preview of My Feral Heart, also the opening title of MINDS Film Festival 2016. It is in this film that the audience gets a peek at the life of people with intellectual disability. My Feral Heart, which will make its Asian premiere in MINDS Film Festival 2016, will tell you why, they are “not so different”. Before that, you can check out our movie review!

Undeniably, due to the lack of exposure and possibly apathy, people still hold misconceptions about intellectual disability. Food for thought: if we do not differentiate people with higher or lower EQ, why should we look at people with higher or lower IQ differently?

Did you know? 
Source: MINDS pamphlet

In MINDS Film Festival 2016, apart from My Feral Heart, we will see a father with developmental disability in I Am Sam; the love story of two adults with Down syndrome in Monica & David; an extraordinary friendship with a man with Down syndrome in The Eighth Day; and the most socially thought-provoking science-fiction movie about the experiment on a slow-witted gardener in The Lawnmower Man.

Other than raising social awareness, here are some ways you can show a little TLC! The greatest challenge for people with intellectually disability is to be independent, to take care of themselves, and eventually, if possible, to financially support themselves. MINDS has a vision of aiding these people with their integration into the society. With MINDS Social Enterprise unit, people with intellectual disability are given alternative work engagement opportunities. In particular, InCinemas is very fascinated with MINDS Craft and MINDS Food!

MINDS Craft started as a therapy programme to develop self-confidence and fine motor skills in clients who enjoyed art. (…) Today, you will be pleased to find that MINDS Craft is able to bulk-produce individualised artisan products where no two pieces are exactly the same.

If you are thinking of getting gifts for your friends, family and loved ones, why not try out this alternative at MINDS Craft? They offer a wide variety of products and services like customised badges, notebook, keychains, hama beads crafts, appreciation tokens, just to name a few.

MINDS Food was started in 2004 by a group of parent volunteers from the MINDS Caregivers Support Group, who wanted to explore the possibility of training our clients to pick up basic kitchen skills. (…) In 2012, we extended our product offering to sell delicious, lovingly handmade baked treats under the brand name of MINDS Bakers.

In MINDS Food/Bakers, yummylicious-looking cookies, tarts, biscuits and muffins with different kinds of packaging are up for grabs! Check out their 2016 catalogue and order away~

So, with MINDS Film Festival 2016 coming up next week (Get your tickets here!), which featured films are you planning to watch? Or, have you any experience with people with intellectually disability? Do you have inspiring stories to tell? Share them with us in the comments!
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