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VIDEO: Lady Gaga Releases Short Film on Power of Kindness & Mental Health

The new film premiered for World Kindness Day.

Today, BORN THIS WAY Foundation, the non-profit organization co-founded by Lady Gaga (she/her/hers) and her mother Cynthia Germanotta (she/her/hers) to support the mental health of young people, announced the debut of a World Kindness Day special.

Premiering the day before World Kindness Day, on November 12th, "The Power of Kindness" is a commanding short film highlighting the personal mental health experiences of a group of young people and exploring the strong relationship between kindness and mental health. Throughout the film, Lady Gaga and mental health expert Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble (she/her/hers) engage in a compelling and intimate conversation with 11 incredible young people, who openly talk about their mental health journeys, support one another, and defy the stigma, one story at a time.

Lady Gaga offers herself as a friend and equal participant as she and the group explore what it means to be kind to oneself and one's community. Courage and vulnerability take center stage as the young people begin to share their personal struggles and paths to radical self-love and acceptance. The film, divided into four chapters, is filled with comfort, hope, and supporting messages, unapologetically pushing the mental health dialogue forward and empowering the public to take action to support themselves and each other.

"Sharing your story and practicing kindness is powerful. I've been all over the world and met millions of young people, and my life is forever changed by their bravery and vulnerability, said Lady Gaga, Co-Founder of BORN THIS WAY Foundation. "It's through those stories of love, joy, grief, empathy, and radical acceptance, that young people continue to show what it means to channel kindness - to themselves and others."

Born This Way Foundation hopes that sharing this conversation will encourage viewers to share their own mental health journeys and reflect on the importance of kindness, both to others and themselves, in their own lives. The video builds on the story sharing and community building of channelkindness.org, BORN THIS WAY Foundation's online compilation of contributed stories of kindness from young people around the world.

"I'm so proud of the voices in this film for openly and bravely sharing their stories with us," said Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of BORN THIS WAY Foundation. "As we approach BORN THIS WAY Foundation's tenth anniversary, we are so proud to hold to our mission of being an organization informed and led by young people who are the driving force to building a kinder and braver world. They know kindness to themselves and one another is the way forward, and we will continue to follow their lead for the next ten years and beyond."

"Born This Way foundation not only created a safe space for me to be vulnerable in but also gave me a platform that will change so many lives when they see a proud, Latinx transgender man say it is beautiful to be trans," said Marty (he/him/his), a filmmaker and screen writer in California. "If my younger self could have seen me in this documentary, they would be so proud to know that they are not only alive but are thriving with amazing people surrounding him and accepting him as his true self."

"Being involved in this conversation taught me to embrace the power of vulnerability, and sparked my journey towards radical self-love; to use the challenges I face on a daily basis to fuel my work," said Bara'ah (she/her/hers), a university student in California. "Having conversations about mental health is working to eliminate the stigma within our communities, and to encourage us to focus on the kindness and bravery we have within ourselves."

Through research, BORN THIS WAY Foundation has found an inextricable link between kindness and mental wellness. Earlier this spring, the Foundation conducted a survey of 2,008 13-24 year olds that REVEALED the ways kindness contributes to many aspects of mental wellness, from helping young people feel safe, confident, and less alone to changing the trajectory of their day and even their desire to stay alive.

In this poignant World Kindness Day video, young people shared their acts of kindness for others, from supporting their friends and validating their feelings to surprising someone with a gift, and showing the importance of being kind to yourself. The conversation also features insight from Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, a psychologist and scientist who works with diverse groups of people to achieve mental health. Dr. Alfiee guides the group through an exercise that demonstrates the shared mental health struggles of many of the participants.

James Shani (he/him/his), founder of Asylum Films and longtime filmmaker and video producer, served as the film's Creator and Executive Producer. Bobby Campbell (he/him/his) also served as Executive Producer. Niharika Desai (she/her/hers) directed the feature.

"I've always wanted to spotlight a conversation with young people from all walks of life and backgrounds where personal mental health stories were shared in a safe and supportive space. Mental health struggles are part of our collective human experience, and we have to build a kinder, more compassionate world to support ourselves, friends and communities," said James Shani, founder of Asylum Films. "Partnering with Lady Gaga and her BORN THIS WAY Foundation to share the stories of these brave young people is an honor and privilege, and I hope more stories like this continue to be shared."

Watch the new short film here:




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From This Author - Michael Major