Men’s Day film premieres to full house

| 26/11/2018
CNS Local Life

Family Resource Centre programme facilitator Anne-Marie Diaz welcomes cinemagoers to the premiere of Men’s Voice

(CNS Local Life): Cayman indie docu-film, Men’s Voice, attracted a standing room only audience when it premiered on International Men’s Day, 19 November. The 15-minute short, produced by local filmmaker Freddie Diaz, was commissioned by the Family Resource Centre to highlight men’s issues on the day of the United Nations observance.

In keeping with this year’s IMD theme “Positive Male Role Models,” Men’s Voice featured a series of one-on-one interviews with people from the Cayman community, a government press release said. The contributors were several recognisable male influencers in the Cayman Islands, as well as students from a local school-based mentoring programme.

Interspersed with global statistics about male societal challenges, the film offered an “arresting insight into the types of issues faced by males in Cayman”, the release said. The contributors also gave relatable evaluations about how some stereotypes work against men.

Others spoke about the need to confront the isolation that occurs when persons do not share problems, which sometimes lead to crises such as gang membership, depression, suicidal thoughts and alcoholism. Some talked about the need to be positive role models for their children as a way of trying to break the cycle, said the release.

CNS Local Life

Dwayne Seymour speaking at the premiere

In addressing the audience prior to the film being shown, Seymour shared some personal experiences which had influenced his belief in the need to encourage more male role models.

“As a male and one of the film’s interviewees, it was interesting to hear the views of other men on topics such as living with emotionally distant fathers and the destabilising effects of growing up fatherless,” he said. “We can all do more to help boys and men surmount the obstacles placed on us by machismo culture and by unrealistic expectations about how men should and should not behave.”

Following the screening, Seymour said he was “very encouraged to see such a large and diverse crowd of men, women and boys in the audience”.

Diaz said that making Men’s Voice had been rewarding. “As a documentary filmmaker my job isn’t to impose my beliefs on the subjects but rather to draw them out to reflect their individual realities,” he said in the press release.

“The documentary format allowed males to tackle subjects they might have felt uncomfortable talking about to friends. I think they felt that the lens and just as importantly the producer behind it was non-judgmental and wasn’t looking to score points or to critique them,” he added.

According to Department of Counselling Services Director Judith Seymour, Men’s Voice generated plenty of positive feedback among audience members. “We were delighted with the stellar turnout. The response is something that can definitely be built on,” she said.

“This isn’t a men’s film, it’s a people’s one. It’s a call to action, the first step down the long road to ensuring that men and boys feel just as empowered and supported in dealing with issues as women and girls in our community.”

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Category: Arts, Community, Film

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