Celebrating Community Access’ Changing Minds Film Festival Winners

October 31, 2023

Livia Caligor is an NYC-based writer and photographer who works in media operations. She graduated from Cornell University in 2021 with a B.S. in Fashion Management, a concentration in Communications, and a minor in English. She’s worked in marketing, wholesale, and operations at brands including Lafayette 148, Elie Saab, Alexander Wang, and Marchesa; through these international experiences, she developed a keen understanding of the supply chain and issues of sustainability and social responsibility – with bylines in Architectural Digest, teenVogue, and the Folklore, she seeks to use writing to facilitate industry change and make design a more equitable space. Livia is passionate about deconstructing the social stigmas around mental health; she is especially interested in how socio-economic and racial privilege, beauty standards, and industry cultures inform and shape mental health. As a new member of the BTWFoundation, she seeks to address barriers to treatment, especially for kids without the means. In her free time, she loves reading, boxing, photography, and drawing and is an avid member of the little monster community!

Follow her Instagram @livia.caligor and her photography page @puddlesbylivia

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(Livia moderating the Changing Minds Film Festival / Photo Courtesy of Community Access, Inc./Sean Simes)

Earlier this Spring, I was so excited to moderate the 2023 Changing Minds Film Festival, which featured 14 winning films centered around the youth directors’ experiences with mental health. Organized by Community Access, a pioneering advocate of accessible housing, social services, and human rights for people with mental illnesses, it is the oldest and largest mental health film festival in the country. Changing Minds aims to reshift people’s mindset around mental health and destigmatize storytelling.

The oldest and largest mental health film festival in the United States, #MHFF takes a bold stand in fighting the stigma people with mental health concerns often face. Through sharing and discussing short films about mental health, made by young filmmakers, Changing Minds aims to positively change the narrative around mental health and foster a more empathetic, nuanced, and action-driven conversation.

I invite you to check out the interview panel with the directors of Inner Workings, Lust of the Flesh, On Top of the World, and Why We Are, and watch their short films below!

Inner Workings | filmmakers Cara Davidson/The Shannon Project 
In this short film, Cara opens up about her experience with depression and body dysmorphia. She explores how mental health struggles manifest for others in Generation Z, especially in the wake of the COVID19 Pandemic.

Lust of the Flesh | filmmaker Maria Gian 
An exploration of gluttony and shame through the eyes of a higher power.

Why We Are | filmmaker Karston C Singleton 
Through the use of theatrical dramatizations, two teenagers attempt to bridge the gaps between those with behavioral health and those without it. How different could they be?

On Top of the World: My Suicide Story | filmmaker Ewan Thomas 
(*Trigger warning* – This film discusses someone’s story that deals with suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideation, please find help immediately. You can text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 help.)

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