IndieFlix to shine light on anxiety with documentary screening Jan. 23 in Batavia

  • Michael Phelps makes a surprise visit to Charlie, one of the children featured in the new documentary "Angst."

    Michael Phelps makes a surprise visit to Charlie, one of the children featured in the new documentary "Angst." Courtesy of Ali Mohsenian

 
Submitted by Batavia Unit District 101
Updated 1/17/2019 10:33 PM

IndieFlix, an independent online streaming platform, along with its nonprofit arm, the IndieFlix Foundation, is sparking a global conversation about anxiety through screenings of its documentary, "Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety."

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Batavia Unit District 101 will hold a special screening of the documentary at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders and experts. The event will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film, followed by an informative panel discussion with special guests in the mental health care field.

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Producers Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they've found solutions and hope. The film also includes a special interview with Michael Phelps, a mental health advocate and one of the greatest athletes of all-time. In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources and tools available to address the condition.

Free tickets are now available and space is limited.

The screening will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Batavia High School in the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St. Reserve tickets at showclix.com/event/angst-batavia-high-school/listing.

"Part of the beauty of this film is the openness of the children and young adults featured; for some of them, the 'Angst' project marks the first time they are publicly sharing their experiences with anxiety. Our hope is that their candor and bravery will inspire our community to do the same," said Erin Hack, Batavia High School counselor.

While "Angst" documents the struggles some people have with anxiety, it also reveals their hope for the future. Noah, a teenager in the film, describes it this way: "Anxiety doesn't define me. It's not just a curse; it also gives me strength."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Everybody needs to know that anxiety disorders are real, common, and treatable instead of viewing them as a personal choice or something to be ashamed of," said Dr. Jerry Bubrick, senior director of the Anxiety Disorders Center, Child Mind Institute. "Getting help early is crucial in giving people the tools they need to feel better. We just need to start the conversation."

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the United States impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age seven being the median age of onset. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of "Angst" has a personal experience with anxiety -- from the producers to the interviewees.

"The conversation surrounding mental health really hits home for me," said Michael Phelps. "Many people don't understand how debilitating mental illness truly can be, and even more than that, how common it is, yet people are afraid to have the serious discussions about it. I welcomed the opportunity to be a part of 'Angst' to further the dialogue around mental health and to help people understand the impact anxiety has on our mental state and encourage people, especially kids, to ask for help."

For more information about this documentary, visit angstmovie.com.

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