The Brain Film Fest, an international film festival dedicated to the brain, will focus in its fourth edition, from March 18 to 20, on the mental repercussions that the pandemic has caused. This year, the contest will take place in a hybrid format, in person at the Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture (CCCB) and online through the Filmin streaming platform, where the program will be available until March 25 and will reach an audience wider. Under the motto Brain Crash, the festival’s agenda aims to open a multidimensional reflection on mental health.

That is why the president of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Cristina Maragall, argues that in this edition it was necessary to address the issue of the effects of the pandemic on the brain, mental problems, insomnia, and symptoms of depression and anxiety, which WHO already names pandemic fatigue, or eating disorders. And he is confident that the hybrid format can be maintained in the future to reach as many people as possible with brain issues, which are not usually talked about.

“The last few months have taken their toll on our health, both individually and collectively, but as the symptoms of the virus subside we will still have to face the psychic consequences of the trauma, a ‘brain crash’ that has shaken our emotional balance “.This fourth edition takes place only six months after the one in 2000, which had to be postponed in March due to the health crisis. In total, nine feature films and a selection of 23 shorts of the 300 that had been presented will be screened.

The reason I jump (2020), by Jerry Rothwell, will be in charge of opening the curtain this Thursday. The film was awarded the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and is based on Naoki Higashida’s bestseller, which he wrote when he was just 13 years old and offers an immersion into reality seen through the eyes. of a person with autism. It is a production that shows a sensory landscape that guides the viewer through the unique universe of five young people from around the world who, although they do not speak, are capable of expressing themselves in extraordinary ways. This same March 18, you will also be able to see The Wish of Robin, by Tylor Norwood, an intimate portrait of the last days of the popular actor Robin Williams, who took his life in 2014, and which reveals, through close testimonies, the fight that the protagonist of The Dead Poets Club waged against a devastating neurological disease that was never diagnosed.

The closing will come from the German film System Crasher (2019), directed by Nora Fingscheidt, in which the young actress Helena Zengel plays Benni, a 9-year-old girl abandoned by her mother who lives in a foster family and has everyone around him to despair, without anyone knowing how to appease his aggressiveness and return the love that the little girl longs for.

Another of the outstanding screenings of the Brain Film Fest is El padre, by Florian Zeller, winner of the Goya for the best European film and aspiring to six Oscars, in which Anthony Hopkins plays an old man suffering from dementia and finding it difficult to accept his own cognitive impairment, to the point of doubting your loved ones, your own mind and the reality that surrounds you.

The documentary FEMMEfille, directed by Kiki Allgeier, takes us into the life of Isabelle Caro, the French model who rose to fame with Benetton’s controversial No-Anorexia campaign. Caro, who suffered from anorexia nervosa since the age of 13, died in 2010 at 28. And another documentary entitled Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, by Ric Burns, will introduce us to the biography of the versatile British neurologist.

Lost in Face portrays a 50-year-old woman who does not recognize herself in the mirror, as she has never been able to retain a face. The film is directed by the neuroscientist Valentin Riedl, who won the Solé Tura Award in the 2019 edition. The last day of the festival will be the turn of Renaceres (2020), by Lucas Figueroa, which proposes an introspective journey about the human being and the relationship with its environment that leads the viewer through the deserted streets of a confined Spain to help us rethink the path we were traveling before those fateful days. In addition to the films, the Brain Film Fest has invited different experts to widely discuss the impact of the pandemic on mental health, from new family realities to social and health challenges.

In this fourth edition, the jury for the 11th Sole Tura Award, which recognizes the best short films about the brain and the mind, is made up of actor Alex Brendemühl, psychologist Eulàlia Vives, film historian Violeta Kovacsics and photographer Rafa Badia.