DIRECTOR Randall Wright will discuss his film Summer In The Forest and take questions from the audience after Monday night's screening of his new documentary at City Screen, York.

Wright will be in conversation with Daniel Maddison, a trustee of York Mind and NHS commissioning lead for learning disabilities and mental health. Together they will explore the themes raised in the film.

Summer In The Forest looks into the quiet revolution in the treatment of mental health that took place in the 1960s. Until then, to a large extent, people with mental illnesses and disabilities were labelled "idiots" to be locked away and forgotten in violent asylums. However, a young French-Canadian philosopher called Jean Vanier took a stand, securing the release of asylum "inmates" to create L'Arche, a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest north of Paris. It was the first time in history that anyone had beaten the system.

Now in his 80s, and still at L'Arche, Vanier claims to have discovered something that most of us have forgotten: what it is to be human, to be foolish and to be happy, as Summer In The Forest invites us to abandon the rat race and forge new friendships.

Amid the ancient trees, Philippe, Patrick, Jean and the others welcome us into their lives. If there are rules to break, they will be broken and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell it. Michel wants to share with us his war-torn past, Andre is desperate for a date, and young David will prove himself a hero in the fight against the forces of evil.

Dave Taylor, City Screen's marketing manager, says: "York has been at the forefront of changing the way in which we see and treat people with mental health problems, but very recently our city has been struck by difficulties with the closure of Bootham Park Hospital and diminished services. It will be interesting to see a wholly different approach in this documentary."

Daniel Maddison, whose work revolves around supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, says: “L'Arche's approach gives people who have never really considered what it's like living with mental illness and disabilities, and those who are well aware of what it's like through lived personal experience, the chance to discover something about themselves, about their relationships with people they may see as different, and to find some common understanding.

"I'm eagerly anticipating the chance to take part in what I'm sure will be an enlightening and uplifting experience for all who attend.”

Director Randall Wright, who also made the David Hockney biopic, Hockney, has enjoyed sharing Summer In The Forest with audiences across the country. "Now I’m very much looking forward to bringing the film to York," he says.

"Since we started making the film, something extraordinary has happened. Almost everyone we meet now tells us they have a cousin, a sibling, an uncle or an aunt with learning difficulties. Because of the film, they feel it’s okay to tell us and talk about it.”

Tickets for Monday's 8.50pm screening and Q&A are on sale at or on 0871 902 5726.