This short film aims to address mental health issues among the LGBTQ+ community

Express News Service

author_img Express News Service Published :  21st October 2021 04:15 PM   |   Published :   |  21st October 2021 04:15 PM
A still from the film

A still from the film

Insomnia, anxiety, loneliness, depression — these are not just mental health issues, but a personification of the characters in the short film titled Mind Mera Mind. Directed by Harsh Agarwal, the film is a take on how the LGBTQ+ community deals with mental health issues, especially how homosexuals are affected by different social elements. The film was released on October 8, to mark World Mental Health day and as part of extending support to the community. According to Agarwal, the story took shape and went on the floors in Bengaluru.

The film personifies various mental health issues which protagonist Prateek, a homosexual, goes through. Insomnia appeared as a handsome guy who kept Prateek (played by content creator Raghav Sharma) awake at night, and anxiety appeared as the neighbour aunty (played by Harshini Misra) who loves to ask uncomfortable questions. Several other characteristics like self-doubt, depression, loneliness, and toxic masculinity appear from time to time to haunt Prateek. 

Agarwal unfolds the way Prateek deals with the web of complexities in the short film. “I had this story idea in my mind for a long time, but it took shape when I came to Bengaluru in June 2021. The initial set of sequences were shot here and the remaining in Delhi. I wanted to address the mental stress among the LGBTQ+ community through unconventional storytelling with parody and fun. I wanted to personify each mental health problem with a character that haunts a homosexual who struggles with his sexuality,” says Agarwal, who is also an LGBTQ+ activist.

When asked if the story is inspired by personal events, the director says, “Every crew member I’ve worked on the film has infused a sense of personal touch. Some of the dialogues  in the film actually reflect the instances I went through as an individual of the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, my films are not advocacy tools. I don’t want to preach and pivot on narratives. I am just a storyteller,” says Agarwal, whose previous directorial was a short film titled Vaidya.

With creative freedom often coming at loggerheads with different sentiments and communities, Agarwal too encountered the same. He mentions that he is always attacked with criticism from the LGBTQ+ community for not casting actors who belong to the community. “Yes, I have always been criticised for it. But casting, for me, is very intuitive, and that follows the due process. Interestingly, I was surprised to find actors ready to play characters like a homosexual without qualms. Having said that, Mind Mera Mind, also consists of two actors from the LGBTQ+ community,” says Agarwal, who is currently pursuing Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

Mind Mera Mind, produced by Lotus Visual, in association with bi-dating app Grindr, is available on YouTube.