Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Mina El Naggar from MAFF: Film Industry Has a Responsibility Towards Mental Health

Sat 27 Apr 2024 | 06:52 PM
Yara Sameh

Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) -as part of "Malmö Film Industry Days"- held a panel discussion under the theme of "Mental Health Challenges in Film Industry".

MedFest Founder, Egyptian actor Mina El-Naggar, Louise Johansson, who is an expert in mental health and film industry, and Lebanese actress Nada Abou Farahat, who presented complex roles in cinema, television, and theater, participated in the event.

During the discussion, Dr. El-Naggar stated that he is pleased with the cooperation with the Malmö Festival in enriching the debate about the mental health of those who work in the art field, as well as tackling concerns related to the creative process and the challenges facing innovators; pressures or troubles of the creative process in all its phases, including preparation, implementation, or presentation. 


El-Naggar noted: "Those involved in the creative process and syndicates have a responsibility towards the mental health of their employees, pointing out that in the Arab world there is no person who is regarded as a channel of communication between the director and actor. One of this person's roles is ensuring that the actor is not exposed to psychological or nervous pressure because of the circumstances of the creative process, or extreme pressure that may have an impact on his psychological state,".

"In the social media era, artists face severe pressure in light of comments, criticism, and bullying on social platforms," he added. 

Abou Farahat stated that there are steps to maintain one's mental health and there are concerns related to declaring mental illness, pointing out:" One reveals his illnesses, except mental illness. People still fear declaring such illness,".

She noted that there is a guidance booklet for maintaining mental health which helped her to face different pressures and disappointments. 

Abou Farahat continued, "I realized that I should not let negative energy affect me. I became proud to be peaceful. I can overcome anything, while maintaining my psychological well-being, without putting myself under pressure that I cannot bear". 

Louise Johansson stated that those involved in the creative industries in the art field suffer from pressures and comparisons, whether actors or workers behind the camera. 

She emphasized, "Multiple workers in cinema and montage, especially documentaries, spend long periods of time working on the content they shoot. They need psychological support to maintain their mental health,",

Bushra highlighted the significance of having a psychiatrist in shooting locations to relieve the pressure on actors, help them present the character's true feelings, and help them get rid of the psychological and nervous pressure due to presenting diversified roles. 

She explained that in shooting locations, an actor not only acts but sometimes performs new roles and tasks.


"MedFest - Egypt" is an international forum for short films. It is the first of its kind in the Middle East, for it combines art and filmmaking with medicine and health through a unique cinematic experience. It was founded in 2017 by Dr. Mina El-Naggar and Dr. Khaled Ali. 

The forum screens carefully selected films, followed by discussion panels with experts in medicine and filmmaking. Throughout the year, it presents a parallel program that includes multiple workshops and lectures to trigger deeper discussions about art and health, along with monthly film screenings.