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The MiLAN Film Festival

February 13th, 2017 | by Jared Liam Moore
The MiLAN Film Festival
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Today, Newcastle University opens its doors once again to the MiLAN (Medicine in Literature and the Arts at Newcastle) Collective Film Festival. The festival, which will take place on campus throughout this week is primarily themed around concepts of love within a medical discourse. Across the five-day event, students from both medical and artistic disciplines are actively encouraged to get involved with the range of panels and screenings hosted by the collective.

Across the week students have access to five different screenings that look to explore an array of narratives associated with love. The films; ‘Still Alice’, ‘WALL-E’, ‘Amour’, ‘Untouchable’ and ‘Life, Animated’ explore a range of themes including early onset dementia, end of life care, representations of disability, equal opportunities in education, explorations of loneliness, mental health and wellbeing, public health issues and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Each night, screenings are being shown in the David Shaw Lecture Theatre starting at 7 pm.

“Today, Newcastle University opens its doors once again to the Medicine in Literature and the Arts at Newcastle Collective Film Festival”

In a statement, Dr Eleanor Holmes, director of the MiLAN collective film festival, explained:

“The MiLAN Collective believes we can shine a light on these important subjects if we take an inclusive approach bringing together academia, clinical medicine, and real world experiences and look at them through the lens of the arts, particularly film The festival combines all of this to stimulate discussion and most importantly to celebrate love, loss, human relationships and the bonds that connect us.”

“We can shine a light on important subjects if we bring together academia, clinical medicine, and real world experiences and look at them through film”

In preparation for the event, the collective also ran an Anatomy Drawing session which presented students with the opportunity to view and create artwork using real-life human organs.

The session, coordinated by Dr Iain Keenan, took place at the start of February and encouraged both medical and art students to view the human heart in its full intricacy.

Throughout the two-hour activity, Dr. Keenan explained that viewing the human anatomy in an environment which allowed for both close-up speculation and touch would encourage students to develop their understanding of the finer details within the human cardiovascular system.

Guests at the workshop were able to work with a range of different specimens. Various sized hearts preserved in formaldehyde occupied the majority of the room. However, students could also work on larger areas of the body including the insides of a torso and multiple models that provided artists with a detailed representation of the heartstrings and aorta.

Dr. Keenan’s workshop encouraged active participation. Throughout the first hour, students were encouraged to consider each of the specimens in three dimensions, to observe them from multiple perspectives – as if the human anatomy was transparent. Participants were advised to create art through visualisation, spending time drawing from memory as well as from an observational view.

Artatomy (as the session has been named) offered a rare and invaluable insight into the field of human anatomy. Whilst some of the attendees were from a medical background, those who came from artistic disciplines were provided with a wealth of visual information that otherwise would not be accessible in any ordinary practice.

The session enacted a safe and healthy environment in which both science and the arts could benefit from one another, allowing everyone involved to build upon their respected fields.

Work from the session will be on display across the MiLAN Film Festival for people to experience across this week. Dr. Keenan will be running a second similar session on the 15th February, the theme for this second workshop will be “Arts and Legs” and is focused on the limbs.

The MiLAN Film Festival is a completely free event set up and ran by University students and staff. Whilst the event is open to all students, entry is ticketed, and tickets can be picked up from the MiLAN Eventbrite page found online.

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