The new APA Film Festival — a major expansion of APA’s Annual Convention film program — will feature multinational films for the
first time as well as some engaging panel discussions
following several of the screenings, sometimes with
the filmmakers themselves. The festival will run
throughout this year’s APA Annual Convention, Aug.
7–10, in Washington, D.C.
“There’s a distinct place for both the art and
the science of psychology, and this is part of the art
contribution,” says Robert D. Simmermon, EdD, who
chairs APA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Films and Other
Media, which oversees the festival.
The addition of international offerings has greatly
expanded the crop of submissions, says Simmermon.
This year’s film entries include:
• “Out of Control: The Power of the Unconscious
Mind,” a short film from Britain on a new finding in
• “The Last Frontier,” about a revelatory mother-daughter road trip in Germany.
• “Drops of Smoke,” which addresses a
transformative relationship between an elderly
Brazilian widow and her neighbor who had been
Awards will be presented for the best submissions in
feature-length, short and avant-garde films.
The festival, launched at last year’s convention
in Honolulu, is the culmination of 30 years of
film-related convention events the committee is
responsible for, Simmermon says. Over the years,
the films have arrived in four categories, each one
adding on to the last: At first there were instructional
and educational films, then broader documentary-style films on psychology topics, then films exploring
pressing social issues, and now offerings that are
strong in craft and narration.
“The artistic component has been evolving, so these
films are now poignant stories well told,” Simmermon
The committee chooses the most promising and
cutting-edge works from both professional filmmakers
and psychologists who make films. As such, it’s never
too early to think about submitting something yourself,
says Simmermon. “We want to see more submissions
from fellow psychologists, and we particularly want
to provide our younger colleagues the chance to share
their voice,” he says.
— TORI DEANGELIS
For a complete festival line-up, check the APA Annual
Convention program listing at www.apa.org/convention.