18 July: Films as a source of nutritional entertainment

Posted by dmrbp1 at Jun 26, 2017 03:25 PM |
Talk given by Dr Mohan Agashe – Consultant Psychiatrist, Actor and award-winning film producer


University of Leicester (UofL) and British Indian Psychiatric Association (BIPA) were delighted to invite Dr Mohan Agashe – Consultant Psychiatrist, Actor and renowned film producer for a talk on “Films as a source of nutritional entertainment” in Leicester on 18th July 2017.

According to Dr Agashe, “Formal education focuses only on developing cognitive skills. It leaves out all other sensory intelligence. Arts is the space of sensory experience and intelligence - where cognition is welcome, but not alone!"

As a doctor and a theatre wallah, he soon discovered that what he thought were two parallel streams in his life actually converged and informed each other. How? Through his years of experience, Dr. Agashe began to understand and perceive art as a precursor to learning. He noticed that the arts sparked interest and intrigue in peoples’ mind and triggered a desire to learn more about certain subjects. Soon, studying these phenomena became his passion.

How do these spaces come together in Dr. Agashe's work? Why is it important? Why use art as a trigger for education? Does it work well? We will explore all these questions and much more with Dr. Agashe at this session. Dr Agashe will draw from his own journey in Arts that began with his early success in Indian theatre with the play, Ghashiram Kotwal, continued into his tryst with grips theatre which led him to his role as an actor-producer in the film "Astu (so be it)" and “Kaasav (Turtle)”. Both the films have English sub-titles.

The presentation highlighted the films, Astu (2013) and Kaasav (2016) to generate intellectual discussion. The Marathi film Astu (2013) is a landmark film because it asks the most difficult questions in ways that is engrossing without being maudlin: How should others love you when you lose the ability to recognize affection? What remains of us when the capacity for memory fades? And, what is the nature of a gift offered by a stranger? This extraordinary film explores these themes with moving unsentimentality, elevating the topic of dementia into a profound exploration of memory, love, loss and compassion.
In order to draw attention to the growing problem of Depression in young adults, Dr Agashe produced (and played a small part) a Marathi film 'Kaasav' - Turtle (with English subtitles) directed by Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar. The reason to produce a feature film was to present cinematic yet authentic portrayal of Depression and the Process of Recovery, in an engaging and entertaining manner. Both these intentions have been served well.
Kaasav received the President of India’s Golden Lotus Award for the Best Feature Film of the Year 2016 during the recently held National Film Award ceremony in New Delhi, India, besides receiving three Maharashtra State Awards. It has been an official selection for the International Film Festival of Mumbai (MAMI Oct 2016), Kolkata (Nov 2016), Trivandrum (Dec 2016), Bangalore (Jan 2017) New York Indian Film festival (April 2017) and Stuttgart FF (July 2017)

The presentation was followed by Question & Answer session and was organised by Dr Santosh Mudholkar (BIPA), Dr Hari Subramaniam (University of Leicester) & Dr Danni Benyon-Payne (College Events Co-ordinator, University of Leicester)


Dr. Mohan Agashe is a distinguished film and theatre actor as well as a trained psychiatrist. And his career consists of amazing experiences and high accolades from various fields. His contributions to film and theatre have been acclaimed and recognized across both industries. His numerous awards and honors are a testament to that. These include Sangeet Natak Academy Award, India's highest national honour for the arts. Dr. Agashe was conferred the Padma Shri by the President of India and the Bundesverdienskreuz, The Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. He has also been awarded the Goethe Medal, the Official Decoration of the German Government for his contributions to theatre.

Dr. Agashe has acted in over 75 films, both in India and internationally. He was director of the Film and Television Institute of India and has been on the board of the National Film Development Corporation.
In the realm of theatre, he has been theatre consultant to the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and was in charge of the theatre program for the Festival of India in the former USSR. Dr. Agashe also introduced contemporary Indian Theatre to Europe and North America as an actor-manager of Theatre Academy's overseas tour. In this he presented Vijay Tendulkar's folk musical play Ghashiram Kotwal, which was invited to the International Theatre Festivals of Berlin (Festwochen 1980), Lille (1980) Belgrade (BITEF 1989) Quebec (1986) and Baltimore (Theatre of Nations 1986) besides also giving guest performances in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Moscow and many cities of North America. His greatest contribution to Indian and Marathi theatre has been his pioneering work in introducing the concept of Grips Theatre, a self-sustained theatre movement from Berlin. He has been recognized for his work in regional Marathi theatre with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the All India Marathi Natya Parishad in Pune.

Along with all of this, Dr. Agashe has been constantly active in the mental health field. He initiated a project to strengthen mental health education and service, and established the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health. He initiated psychosocial rehabilitation of victims of the Latur earthquake of 1993 and was the Principal Investigator of a Research Project undertaken by Indian Council for Medical Research Centre for Advanced Research to study the health consequences of the earthquake disaster in 1994. He is currently the principal investigator of an Indo-U.S. joint Research Project on Cultural Disorders of Fatigue and Weakness. He was also the Principal Investigator of an Indo US joint Research project on Cultural Disorders of Fatigue & Weakness.

Share this page:



Contact Details

College of Life Sciences
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road