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Percept Pictures Short Film ‘Avsaad’ raises awareness for the issue of Depression on World Health Day 2017

Aims to create mass awareness for the challenges faced by over 300 million people worldwide

On the occasion of World Health Day, Percept Pictures digital arm ‘Indian Chronicles’ launched yet another reality-based Short Film, ‘Avsaad’ focused on the topic of ‘Depression’, a challenge faced by over 300 million people around the globe. Directed by Anuradha Nishad, the film is captivatingly narrated in a poetic Hindi version. The essence of the film showcases the journey of an individual in today’s age struggling and surviving under the shadows of the mental disorder called ‘Depression’. The objective of the film is to create mass awareness of the issues and challenges faced by over 300 million people across all age groups around the world and highlight the fact that depression is a treatable condition.

The film was launched on World Health Day, celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, with an aim to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of the 2017 World Health Day campaign is “Depression – Let’s Talk” and recognizes that depression is a treatable condition and seeks to address the fact that, despite this, about 50% of cases of major depression still go untreated.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with Depression increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015, and Depression is also the largest cause of disability worldwide. More that 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries, and almost 7.5% Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders that require expert intervention. In October 2016, according to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) mental survey, the incidence of depression is approximately 1 in every 20 Indians. Given the scale of this issue, Percept Pictures and Anuradha Nishad decided to tackle this problem creatively head on by producing and dedicating the film ‘Avsaad’ on World Health Day to highlight this major health concern and commemorate the spirit of those who have successfully been treated and emerged from the dark shadows of Depression.

Produced and directed by Percept Pictures, this short film continues to add to their repertoire of achievements following in the footsteps of their award winning short film (aids+b)2 which won the Best Film award at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2016, ‘Just Begun’ which received international acclaim for its sensitive portrayal and contemporary approach on the contentious LGBTQ subject matter; and ‘Speaking Pad’ which created mass awareness for the accomplishments & challenges faced by 70 million Deaf people worldwide. Percept Pictures has a rich history of accomplishments in mainstream cinema and has established a strong foothold by consistently innovating and delivering some of the biggest films and hits in the past two decades. It has created pioneering quality content in the ‘Cause Cinema’ genre with a focus on highlighting various key issues and maladies plaguing our society today. 

Speaking on ‘Avsaad’ and its concept, Aditya Joshi, Senior Manager – Marketing, Percept Pictures commented, “Every third person is dealing with a globally recognized major mental disorder Depression, and even the WHO has raised this as the key focus area for 2017. Given the scale of the problem we decided it was high time to tackle this sensitive issue and create a unique film which explores this area in a delicate yet practical manner.”

Anuradha Nishad, Director, ‘Avsaad’ said, “Depression alone accounts for over 7% of the total disease burden in India. But we never address it because most of our families and friends don’t believe it exists or simply suppress it out of sheer fear of social stigma.”

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