AWI Sanctuary Space presents: “Dear Nay” Watch Party + Filmmaker Q&A

An ongoing Continued Connections program that creates virtual spaces for folks to connect at the intersection of art and mental health.

Watch the replay of our virtual watch party and filmmaker Q&A where we screened and celebrated our June 2022 short film competition winner: Dear Nay.


About the filmmaker:

Nich “Nick” Perez is a Filipino – American filmmaker, educator, producer, creative director and collaborator, researcher, artist, and professional storyteller based in Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. He has a knack for telling stories that matter told through the lens of empathy and community. So he enjoys creating pixels and film grain through relationships and treating them as sacred, and produces media that transcend through the lens as a whole, rendering beauty, inspiration, and authenticity in an evolving media landscape. And before doing his academic fellowship in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, he was an Assistant Professor in Communications and Visual Arts at Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, IN, where he also served as the director of the digital arts studio. With 15 years of experience in multimedia storytelling, his work intersects with social justice, creativity, identity, volunteerism, philosophy, mental wellness, and service- learning through media arts and practice. Nich continues to collaborate with multiple non-profit organizations, and his extensive mission-driven media work supports their causes in print to emerging media. Many of these projects were in numerous international film festivals and exhibitions, including his poetic documentary, LETTERS: transformations that was the March 2021 winner of the Art With Impact Short Film Competition. He hopes to continue to share this passion of transforming hearts and minds through powerful stories and in meaningful projects, one pixel at a time.


Interactive event recording + presentation:

Featured National Resources:

Crisis Text Line
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Asian Mental Health Collective
Trans Lifeline
The Trevor Project
Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM)
Black Mental Health Alliance
Learn how to support someone else’s mental health: Be There Certificate


Date:June 9, 2022
Time:1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Workshop Evaluation

88% of participants felt the event created awareness of mental health issues
72% of participants gained new tools to support their own wellness
72% of participants made a meaningful connection with other people
I enjoyed this event very much. Appreciate the frank and deep reflection shared by everyone who joined. "
-Sanctuary Space attendee

Films Screened

Films screened and discussed at this workshop

Dear Nay
View Film Library


Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission The MHSOAC provides vision and leadership, in collaboration with clients, their family members, and underserved communities, to ensure Californians understand mental health is essential to overall health. MHSOAC holds public mental health systems accountable, provides oversight for eliminating disparities; promotes wellness, recovery and resiliency; and ensures positive outcomes for individuals living with serious mental illness and their families.