Trinity’s FreeDem Films project has been selected by the European Foundation Centre (EFC) to be included in a showcase of significant work as part of the centre’s 25th-anniversary celebrations. The FreeDem films project, launched earlier this year, was developed by the NEIL (Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives) Programme at Trinity’s Institute of Neuroscience with funding from GENIO. The 10 quirky animated videos addressing common concerns about memory loss and dementia were developed by Trinity researchers in a bid to allay fears about memory loss, promote brain health and tackle the stigma associated with dementia. The videos are available to view for free online at freedemliving.com and are also available on DVD.
The FreeDem films project was funded by Genio, a member of the European Foundation Centre and an Irish based independent, non-profit organisation driven by a vision of a society that benefits by valuing all of its citizens. The EFC 25th Anniversary exhibition will be on view for three weeks in November and again in 2015 in Brussels and the films will be included on rotation. Established in 1989, the EFC an international membership association of over 200 foundations and corporate funders and includes some of the most influential foundations from around the world.
Additionally the FreeDem film ‘How does memory work?’ was also recently selected by the Pacific Science Centre in Seattle, Washington to feature in an exhibit on memory. The temporary memory exhibit is running from September 2014 to February 2015 but will return each year for the next three years with each iteration of the exhibit featuring a slightly different take on the subject of memory. The final exhibit will focus on memory loss/forgetting and the Pacific Science Centre has already expressed an interest in including another of the FreeDem videos.
“People with dementia are stigmatised which leads to discrimination, depression, social isolation, delayed health-seeking behaviour and other negative outcomes and this series of short films aims to encourage people to be proactive about their brain health and make important lifestyle changes that reduce risk factors,“ stated Dr Sabina Brennan, Assistant Director of Trinity’s NEIL Programme. “I am delighted that the films are being exhibited internationally. It never ceases to amaze me how far these little films have travelled with online views in over 140 countries. We are committed to increasing the societal impact of science, so I am particularly thrilled that the films are simultaneously featuring in a scientific exhibition on memory in Washington DC and the EFC exhibition in Brussels demonstrating the impact of philanthropy.“