On the note of ‘World Mental Health Day’, Writer and Director Saila Kariat’s film theme– ‘The Valley’ brought clarity to an issue that needed to be understood. 4 days prior to the release of her film, Director Saila Kariat, cast member Suchitra Pillai (who played Roopa in The Valley), Ms. Pooja Bhatt and clinical psychologist Anureet Sethi held a panel discussion that took up the theme of the film.
In a world where relationships and human connections are losing their meaning in a digitized form, we must learn to take a step back and hold on to what matters the most in our lives. Bringing light to a very prominent topic, the film truly has an important underlying message.
Do we know how the person sitting next to us really is? Can we see their pain and stand by them when they need it the most? It’s important to not only understand their side of the story, but bring about an awareness of depression and tackle it before it’s too late.
“The topic of mental health issues is something I’ve always cared about. Living in Silicon Valley California, I witnessed a lot of pressures that are put on young people. The kind of struggles that they face in trying to meet expectations and live up to the pressures that they are under, inspired me to write this story. There were a lot of suicides in Silicon Valley. Fourteen in one year! Just before I started writing this script, there was a girl I knew who jumped off the overpass of one of the highways. It was really shocking for most people, and that inspired me to start writing the story” says film Director and Writer Saila Kariat.
The film has been nominated under the categories of best film, best screenplay, best lead actress, best lead actor, best director, best cinematography, best supporting actress and best editing at festivals. The film is set to make its debut in India at the Jio MAMI Film Festival on the 14th of October at JUHU PVR.
The panel discussion and the story of the film reminds us of something often overlooked in society. Our own well-being. We must not lose hope, but find meaning in what matters and believe in ourselves that there can always be something more. After all, ‘The answer lies within’.