Project UnLonely Films
Loneliness and isolation are among today’s most urgent public health crises. Over one-third of adults report significantly feeling this way, and research shows it can lead to a 30% increased risk of early death—on par with smoking 15 cigarettes per day! What’s more, other mental health-related issues can result from these feelings, such as depression, suicide, and substance abuse.
Project UnLonely Films, now in its seventh season, selects 35–40 films that explore themes of loneliness, connection, and belonging from diverse perspectives.
Filmmakers submit their original films from October–February each year, and winners are selected in March. A Launch Event takes place each June, where arts, medical, and public policy luminaries join us as we screen the winning films and present awards to the filmmakers.
Diversity and Inclusion Focus
We use a diversity and inclusion lens in curation. The films focus especially on groups that are disproportionately at risk for loneliness and isolation, such as caregivers, older adults, those dealing with substance abuse, those with a major illness, military veterans, college campuses, and minority populations (including LGBTQ and immigrants). Drawing upon the time-tested impact of creative arts, these filmmakers take us on a journey and share stories that connect us.
Easily Accessible Year-Round
We stream the films from Project UnLonely Films continuously on the unlonelyfilms.org platform. As audiences explore the various perspectives of loneliness and isolation, our broader goal is to address its root causes by encouraging community outreach, collaboration, and creative expression.
A Commitment to Films That Make You Think
In a recent spotlight by Next Avenue, we get an up-close look at seasoned film industry veteran, Mike Paseornek, and his involvement with our Project UnLonely Films! Having served as an executive producer at Lionsgate Films, Paseornek’s portfolio includes blockbuster hits such as “The Hunger Games,” “American Psycho,” and “La La Land.” But it’s not just his professional expertise he brings to Project UnLonely Films—it’s also a deeply personal connection.
Paseornek’s relationship with The Foundation for Art & Healing began when we featured his daughter Steffanie, a heart transplant recipient, in our short video, “Can Art Be Medicine?” Seeing firsthand the healing power of creative expression in Steffanie’s journey deeply touched Paseornek and motivated him to support Project UnLonely Films.
When judging for Project UnLonely Films, he’s on the lookout for stories that tug at the heartstrings, not just the ones with high-end production. This approach underscores Project UnLonely Films’ mission—to spotlight the pervasive issue of loneliness and show how the power of storytelling through film can bring us closer together.