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Medicine meets cinema: Dr Omneya Okasha’s journey from dentistry to film making

Dr Omneya Okasha is a dentist who had a passion for film since early childhood. Bonding with characters on screen took her on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and wonder. After a career in Dentistry, she is now a full-time film maker. In this conversation with Medical Humanities film correspondent, Khalid Ali, she comments on 'story-telling, attention to detail, collaboration and empathy' as key elements in making a good doctor and artist. In her films, she challenges society...


ICE Immigration and Health: Eugene Gu on the medical consequence of politics

Medical Humanities editor-in-chief Brandy Schillace interviews Dr Eugene Gu about the responsibilities of medical practitioners in light of ICE and the immigration crisis in the US. Stay in touch with the Medical Humanities journal through the website (, the blog (, Twitter (@MedHums_BMJ) and Facebook. This interview was recorded on the 7th June 2018.


The shape of Medical Humanities in South Africa

What kinds of projects in medical humanities are happening in the Global South? Today we speak to two of the guest editors for a South African Special Issue (Carla Tsampiras and Nolwazi Mkhwanazi), publishing in December 2018, on the cultural context and issues of MH and social justice.


Let's talk sex, medicine and film. Reporting from Egypt Medfest 2018

Mina Elnaggar, an Egyptian doctor and film-maker, outlines the first Arab forum for medicine in film, Egypt Medfest, in conversation with Medical Humanities Film Correspondent Khalid Ali. Read the Medical Humanities' blog for more on film and media in medicine:


One Year Anniversary, MH editor

In this podcast, Associate Editor Angela Woods interviews Brandy Schillace, Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Humanities journal, at the one-year anniversary of her editorship. Brandy talks about the changes in the journal and what we can expect in the next year; she also takes a moment to celebrate the current and upcoming issues, authors, and contributors. We hope you will join the conversation at MH, by visiting the blog and journal site,...


Talk to her: Arab women unveil taboos

Three film industry women talk mental health and violence. ‘Mamsous- Deranged’ is a short film about mental health and well-being through the story of three people, who share their experiences with clinical depression and panic attacks. It was directed by Shatha Masoud, an Emarati filmmaker who started her own advertising and video production business. Mamsous won the best ‘Muhr Emarati short film award’ in Dubai International Film Festival in 2016. Amal Alharbi who features in 'Mamsous' is...


How do we find meaning when we are going to die?

Dr Khalid Ali, Medical Humanities film and media correspondent, interviews Dr Amy Hardie at the Sudan Independent Film Festival where she held a training workshop for film students. Dr Amy Hardie is a documentary film-maker with several international awards. Her documentary feature The Edge of Dreaming, was the first Scottish feature documentary to be selected for competition at IDFA in 2009 and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize, Kiev International Film Festival. She graduated from the...


Psychiatry, old age and relationships in Professor Robert Abrams’ words

Family relationships, traumas from childhood echo in love life, dementia and geriatrics. In this broad interview, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Robert Abrams (Weill Cornell University, New York, USA) tells the Screening Room editor of Medical Humanities Khalid Ali about his contributions to the journal. Robert Abrams was interviewed at the Cairo Medfest, the First Arab Forum for Medicine in Film, in January 2017. Please visit the Medical Humanities website ( and blog...


Auditory hallucinations, agoraphobia and extremism as portrayed by actor Ahemed Magdy

In this podcast, the Screening Room editor of Medical Humanities Khalid Ali explores the role of film in shining a light on mental illlness, dysfnctional families and the rise of religious fanaticism with Egyptian director Ahmed Magdy. Recently introduced to acting, Ahmed talks about his portrayal of three challenging characters: a young man imprisoned in his mother's house in 'Gate of Departure, Kareem Hanafi, 2015', an extremist who converts from Islam to Christianity in 'The preacher,...


Living and ‘loving life’ in a sanatorium: interview with Radu Jude, Romanian director

‘Scarred hearts’ is a thought-provoking semi-autobiographical film based on the period Max Belceher (Romanian author) spent in a sanatorium in 1934 recovering from Pott’s disease (Tuberculosis of the spine). In this podcast Khalid Ali explores with Radu Jude (the film director) the physical and mental hardships experienced by patients with TB, as well as the sense of community and companionship that can develop during their confinement. On the 24th March 1882 Dr Robert Koch discovered the TB...


Khaled Abol Naga: Acting as a calling and social activism

In this podcast, Khalid Ali meets Khaled Abol Naga, one of the most popular faces in Egypt and with strong links to the UK. He prefers to be introduced as an “actor”, but is also a well-known filmmaker, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and a political activist. During his latest visit to London, Khaled Abol Naga spoke with the Screening Room Editor of Medical Humanities about his long and diverse career and how his characters taught him about the human condition, mental illness or age. They...


"To age or not to age", Tom Kinninmont about his co-writing "The Carer"

In this podcast, Tom Kinninmont, co-writer of the British film 'The Carer', tells Khalid Ali, Medical Humanities Screening Room Editor, the details of the picture which brings Parkinson's disease, ageing, care for old people, intergenerational problems, stardom egos and Shakespeare quotes all together to the big screen. In this conversation recorded during the Edinburgh film festival, where the film was screened in June, the Scottish writer with a long career in theatre and TV. also talks...


'Bernie and Rebecca’ is Melissa Kent's directorial debut: "a lifetime of emotions in 15 minutes"

In this podcast, Khalid Ali speaks to Melissa Kent, Hollywood film editor, about her debut as a director with "Bernie and Rebecca", at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which explores "a lifetime of emotions in 15 minutes". The short film had its UK premiere during the Scottish festival, in June, and will be available on the Internet in January 2017. It has also been selected to three upcoming festivals: MADRID INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (July 2–9) - nominated for Best Director of...


The Nightingales: Sudan's First women band: music for healing and hope

The three Sudanese sisters The Nightingales (or 'Al-balabil'), who have been singing for 45 years, are doing their first world tour. On their stop for a concert in London, at the end of May, they spoke with Khalid Ali, the Medical Humanities' Screening Room Editor, about their memories as children in Sudan and the power of their music in supporting people with illnesses. A conversation with a lot of music involved.


Coma through the eyes of a doctor and relatives: interview with Anu Menon, director of 'Waiting'

In this podcast, the director Anu Menon talks to the Medical Humanities' Screening Room Editor Khalid Ali about her latest film 'Waiting'. The film explores the relationship between doctor and patients' relatives as well as the bonds established through coma. This is the second of two Medical Humanities' podcasts about the Indian film 'Waiting', which was part of the London Asian film Festival (LAFF), Tongues on Fire, in March 2016. It will be released internationally on the 26th of April,...


Film ‘Waiting’ - lives united by coma: interview with co-writer James Ruzicka

In this podcast, Dr James Ruzicka talks about the connection between the story of the film 'Waiting', which he co-wrote, and the real life of a doctor. ‘Waiting’ is directed by Anu Menon and explores the bond established between two people whilst their spouses lie in coma in an hospital. This is the first of two Medical Humanities' podcasts about the Indian film, which will be the closing night gala of the London Asian film Festival (LAFF), Tongues on Fire, on Sunday, 13th March 2016. It...


Producer Simon Field invites to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s season of films and installations in UK

In this podcast, Khalid Ali talks to Simon Field, producer of "Cemetery of Splendour", a film about a lonesome middle-age housewife who tends a soldier with sleeping sickness and falls into a hallucination. The film is the starting point of a conversation about the work of the director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which legacy is being showcased in the UK: Film retrospective, Tate Modern, 6-8 April; 'Cemetry of Splendour' film, BFI Southbank, April 2016; Visual installation 'Primitive' - The...


Sharif Hatata: doctor, novelist, film critic about medicine, doctor strike and "Egypt's health"

The 93 year-old retired doctor Sharif Hatata, Egyptian political activist born in the UK, tells MH Screening Room editor Khalid Ali about his novels, "resistance", junior doctors strike, "poor health care" in Egypt and his film passion. This interview was recorded in Cairo, during The Panorama of the European Film, in November 2015. See the full program of the festival at


Bringing cinema to those with visual impairment, reporting from the Panorama of the European Film

The president of The Panorama of the European Film, Marianne Khoury, explores the new possibilities opened by the last edition of the festival in Cairo, including the new technologies allowing cinema for those with visual impairment. The film-maker introduced the event in Egypt more than a decade ago, presenting alternative cinema to the country. In this podcast, Marianne Khoury tells Khalid Ali about the other films in this festival, including her own 'Shadows-Zelal', which explores the...


Psychological coercion in UK government workfare programmes

How is positive psychology being used as a coercive strategy in UK government workfare programmes? What effect does this have on the people who receive unemployment benefits, and how have psychologists responded? In this podcast, Lynne Friedli (Hubbub) and Robert Stearn (Birkbeck) discuss their research with BMJ Medical Humanities Associate Editor Angela Woods. “Positive affect as coercive strategy: conditionality, activation and the role of psychology in UK government workfare programmes”...