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Hope Conference Film Fest offers docs on issues vital to social workers

Lucy Winer at Kings Park. Photo courtesy of filmmaker.

The National Association of Social Workers Hope Conference Film festival on July 23 will feature three documentaries that cover issues important to social workers – cancer care, mental illness, and issues affecting aged-out foster children.

“Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution” is from producer and director Lucy Winer. The film is about Winer’s return to a Long Island mental hospital that her parents committed her to when she was a teenager more than 30 years ago.

In the film Winer interviews former patients and staff of the facility and examines the changing state of mental healthcare in the United States.

“Lucy Winer produced a film that required tremendous courage – it should be seen by all those who work with and care for the mentally ill and by all those who care about their future,” said Dr. Benjamin Sadock, a psychiatry professor at the NYU School of Medicine.

To visit the official website of “Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution” click here.

Matt Anderson (right) and Raif Walter, one of the former foster children featured in his film. Photo by Greg Wright.

Social worker Matt Anderson, MSW, was working with foster children in Montana when he met Codie, an 18-year-old who had been placed in 17 foster homes in just seven years. Like many former foster children Codie was struggling to build a connection with his birth family and avoid slipping into crime or drug abuse.

Codie asked Anderson to make a movie about his experiences. This led to Anderson teaming up with filmmaker Paige Williams to make “From Place to Place,” a moving documentary that follows six young adults in Montana who have aged out of the foster care system.

“He shared his story and I said his life was important,” said Anderson, who is now director of planning and sustainability at the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.

Anderson said the film helped spur Congress to pass the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, which President Obama signed into law in September 2011.

You can learn more about “From Place to Place” and other films Anderson and Williams have worked on by visiting the website of the Porch Productions film company by clicking here.

Ted Bogosian

“What Love Is: Pathfinders,” from filmmaker and producer Ted Bogosian, follows an organization partly founded by social worker and NASW member Tina Staley, MSW, LCSW, that provides holistic, compassionate care to people with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Bogosian met Staley through a mutual friend. Both had ties to Duke University where Bogosian was a visiting filmmaker and Staley was an integrative oncology instructor at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bogosian explained why the film meant so much to him.

“Well, my mother (Natalie Bogosian) died from lung cancer a long time ago,” he said. “And I would say this became a movie that I made for her so the aspects of this production are very personal.”

Hope Conference attendees can earn two continuing education units by attending the Film Festival and taking part in a brief discussion session after each movie. To select the film you wish to see visit the Film Festival registration table at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel for tickets. The movies will screen concurrently at 7 p.m. on July 23.

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1 Comment

  1. i m Taj din ,i m social worker since many years but,
    i have way to be register my self as social worker ,
    now day i have my own org its name is usso .we
    are working on social educations,kindly help me
    i want to come in conference ,meeting from sindh karachi.
    thank you.taj

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