Happy Soul Festival 2010

Happy Soul Festival Announces 2010

The 2010 Happy Soul festival was launched earlier this week with a number of exhilarating performances.

Johnny Kalsi, the renowned Dhol drum artist and founder of the Dhol Foundation – who has played on the soundtrack for Hollywood films such as Gangs of New York, the Incredible Hulk and Tomorrow Never Dies – and his band gave an electrifying performance which had audiences on their feet. Spoken word poet Anjum Malik and performance artists Young Voices were amongst those who also entertained and delighted on the night. The evening was in collaboration Solace Care – formerly Asian Elderly Support Scheme.

The award-winning festival, which is supported by Film London and Arts Council of England, is London’s premier celebration of film, arts and music, dedicated to creating awareness of well-being and mental health in the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities where these issues are often stigmatised.

Comedienne and writer Meera Syal, a patron of the festival says: “Mental Health is a difficult issue to broach and discuss in our communities, and something we often hide in the family, but through honest discussion and through other avenues such as film and music we can open up and explore these sensitive issues together.”

The Happy Soul Festival runs until 30th April, and will provide audiences with an abundance of opportunities to view a diverse range of British, Asian, African-American, Korean, African and Israeli films which explore well-being issues within these communities.

Community well-being and feel-good events include belly dancing, a series of workshops on ancient mediation practices, Philippine Bamboo dance acts, massage, yoga and taster meditation and Tai Chi taster sessions.

The award-winning author Alice Walker and actor Colin Salmon are also guests at this year’s festival, and highlights include An Audience with Alice Walker event and the Happy Soul Youth Film Awards, which will see young people from schools and community groups in South London making short films which explore mental health awareness from their experience.

Cary Sawhney, the Festival’s Director says: “Happy Soul’s core aim is to create a greater awareness of mental health in the minority ethnic communities where these issues are often stigmatised, or people are unaware of the services that we can offer. Our evaluation of previous Festival’s shows that over half the people attending the Festival have said they now know more about mental health “.

For program details visit: www.happysoulfestival.co.uk