Jayanta’s research has opened up new conversations within the South Asian diaspora around mental health that has contributed towards developing community workshops.
‘Whenever there is a crisis, the productive minds turn it into an opportunity.’ Jayanta Ray, a PhD researcher at the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Leicester Media School, made ‘The Dark Side of Moon’ telling the story of his family and their mental health journey after daughter Oishi was diagnosed with ADHD, dyspraxia, anxiety and depression while a student at Oxford.
Ray and wife Sutapa created the Sangeet Foundation to raise awareness of mental health issues, particularly in South Asian communities, and explore the way in which music and art can be effective therapy tools – the subject of Mr Ray’s PhD which he is studying with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Leicester Media School.
Dark Side of Moon won Best Short Film in the Crown Woods Film Festival and has been shortlisted for Best Short Documentary in the Indian Independent Film Festival. Also, it was one of a handful of documentaries shortlisted for screening at the Socio Corpo CSR Film Festival, India, which is the country’s biggest film festival for social issue documentaries.
Ray said, “ We created the documentary to tell the story of not only my daughter but many other people who have mental health struggles. The whole idea is to say ‘this is the reality, this is what we are doing, and this is how you can get involved’. I am delighted that it has been received so positively and I think it shows that the stories we tell, people can resonate with them either because they themselves have struggled or they know people who have. It has given us a wider platform to talk about the Sangeet Foundation and to bring it back to the research on the link between music, art and mental health.”
Mr Ray became interested in the positive effect that music and art had on people with mental health problems after seeing how music therapy supported his daughter. He has since met and featured support groups through the foundation and helped to signpost people looking for help.
Since forming in 2015, the charity has hosted more than 100 events that bring together experts and creatives to share their knowledge and practice, and help educate people about mental health – including well-known performing artists from the UK, India, USA and South Asia, and leading practitioners such as psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors.
The documentary, which was created over five months, draws on material from these events as well as home footage and images. It was directed, edited, scripted, voiced over by Dr Sagarika Golder for Sangeet Foundation.