Written by: Robyn Ollodort and Martha Jimenez
As we gear up for Superfest International Disability Film Festival 2017 this weekend, we wanted to share key features of the films in the festival that excite us and that are changing the way we see disability. So, in this Buzzfeed-style feature, we present 10 things you’ll find in #Superfest2017 films that you won’t get anywhere else - but should! And don’t forget to buy your tickets to Superfest now before they sell out!
- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AS MAIN CHARACTERS
In Traveller, A young woman travels from Myanmar travels to Japan, where she finds strength in disability activism and community, and returns home with a newfound sense of pride.
2. DISABILITY FRIENDSHIPS In When Brendan Met Hiroe, a photographer from Australia returns to Japan to reunite with his friend Hiroe, who he met at a blind and deaf/blind workshop the year before.
3. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WHO ARE ALSO QUEER AND/OR PEOPLE OF COLOR.
In Sign, two men meet on a train—and a tender and unspoken love story unfolds.
4. DISABILITY AS A SITE OF DISCRIMINATION, NOT SOLELY (PHYSICAL) IMPAIRMENT.
Basketball superstar Chamique Holdsclaw faced six felony counts, the possibility of prison and public attacks on her character.
5. INTERDEPENDENCE (AS CONTRASTED TO INDEPENDENCE)
This reverent ode to the service dog tells the story of German immigrant Sonja Ohldag, who is diagnosed with a seizure disorder after moving to the U.S. in 1999.
6. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES FACING DIFFICULT REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS.
In Crystal Skin follows a charismatic eleven-year-old named Maria who lives with the limitations imposed by a rare skin disease.
7. CHARACTERS/PEOPLE WHOSE IDENTITIES ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE MAIN DRIVING FORCE OR SOURCE OF CONFLICT FOR THE PLOT
In Barber of Augusta, Toronto native Matthew Genser goes to great lengths to find his unexpected superpower: cutting hair.
8. BUT ALSO, DISABILITY AS A CENTRAL POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUE
“On the Outs” follows three inmates with disabilities as they prepare for reentry, get discharged and navigate the challenges of returning to their old lives.
9. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES DAY TO DAY LIVES This documentary short follows the lives of a deaf couple with hearing children and the unexpected outlet that brings their family closer together.
10. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AS DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS, WRITERS, AND ACTORS, TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES OR STORIES THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO THEM PERSONALLY.
Stab, an animated comic medical memoir dedicated to all those who live with chronic illness or disability.