Superfest 2019 is Coming Up!
As we gear up for Superfest Disability Film Festival 2019, 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 #Superfest2019 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!
1. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AS MAIN CHARACTERS
Gaslit- Best of Festival Short Film
A young disabled woman fights to hold on to her identity in the face of the world’s assumptions and strives for independence from her parents, who doubt her ability to
become a mother.
2. DISABILITY FRIENDSHIPS
Stinky Chicken Dog 2
This film explores the complex and beautiful relationships between people with disabilities and their animals through an interview between a service dog owner and a companion pet owner who tell their story of a tense relationship with her formerly abused and traumatized pet Chihuahua.
3. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WHO ARE ALSO QUEER AND/OR PEOPLE OF COLOR
Song for Rent, After Jack Smith
Shot on 16mm film and with a loop of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” in the background, in this adaptation of a 1969 film by Jack Smith, Barbarella Bush joins Rose Courtyard – a drag character based on Rose Kennedy - in a campy exploration of US hegemony, queer assimilation, and queer disruption.
4. DISABILITY AND DISCRIMINATION
Chuskit- Best of Festival Feature
A young girl’s dream of going to school is cut short when she becomes a paraplegic after an accident and she’s subsequently confined to life indoors in the company of her strict grandfather. As the story unfolds, our protagonist battles against the limitations imposed upon her to create the life she wants for herself.
5. INTERDEPENDENCE (AS CONTRASTED TO INDEPENDENCE)
A still, blank sheet of paper. A silhouette appears delineated beneath its surface. Here is our hero, TIS. He struggles and manages to free himself from the sheet of paper, but his feet remain attached to it. In the distance, he sees a crowd of beings similar to him. TIS tries to catch up with them but the sheet of paper he is attached to hinders his movements.
6. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES FACING DIFFICULT REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS
At an audition, Maya becomes part of an absurd cycle, and loses track of who she's performing for and why. The Gallery is a narrative short that explores how some marginalized groups can be shut out of cultural institutions, and how they can feel pressured into perpetuating a system that doesn't appear to be working in their favor.
7. CHARACTERS/PEOPLE WHOSE IDENTITIES ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE MAIN DRIVING FORCE OR SOURCE OF CONFLICT FOR THE PLOT
Are You Volleyball
A story about asylum seekers displaced from war who live in limbo, hoping for a better home. They conflict with border soldiers everyday till a deaf-mute child becomes a catalyst for better communication between two groups.
8. BUT ALSO, DISABILITY AS A CENTRAL POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUE
The Invalid Corps
This film brings the important and historically influential story of the Invalid Corps to the forefront: in July of 1864 the confederate army is at the gates of Washington DC and the only remaining defenders are clerks, government officials, and the Invalid Corps. A group comprised of men injured in battle or by disease, these “hopeless cripples” must hold out for a desperate 24 hours until the Union army can send reinforcements. With Lincoln himself on the ramparts, they cannot afford to fail.
9. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES' DAY TO DAY LIVES
The Man of the Trees- Advocacy Awards
Daniel Balima is a senior horticulturist from Tenkodogo, a small Sub-Saharan African town in Burkina Faso, where he lives with his large family and has worked since he was born 67 years ago. A polio survivor who walks on his hands, he inherits his father’s business running a nursery and has given life to more than a million trees during his life.
Emily finds herself disconnected from the world around her. She drifts back through her memories to relive different moments from her life. Emily must look to her past so that she may fully connect with the present. This animated, Oscar-nominated short offers an honest glimpse into the highs and lows of life with dementia.
10. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AS DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS, WRITERS, AND ACTORS, TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES OR STORIES THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO THEM PERSONALLY.
Throughout her childhood, JoAnne loved to draw herself as heroic characters to escape the insecurity and feeling of being different that came with her condition. However, JoAnne never drew her facial features any differently to fit the scene of a heroic warrior or mystical mermaid. This animated documentary touches on poignant milestones that have impacted JoAnne and made her the strong woman that she is today.
The Penguin Who Couldn't Swim
This animated short, made by a disabled animator, follows the story of a penguin who lives on a rocky island in the southern seas where she feels isolated from the rest of her colony.
Choreographed, directed and shot from disability perspectives, this dance-on-video short contrasts the playful connections when disability aesthetics, community and a ramp meet the institutional histories and discordant inclinations that can lurk just below the surface.