Written and submitted by Day Al-Mohamed
Cross-posted on Day in Washington
On June 2 and 3 of this year, the Gaia Arts Center in downtown Berkeley held the Superfest 27. According to their website, Superfest is the longest running International Disability Film Festival. Sponsored by Culture!Disability!Talent! (CDT), a non-profit organization made up of performers, artists, and media makers with disabilities and their supporters, Superfest had entries from seven countries and representing over a dozen different disabilities.
Obviously, I’m a bit late with this post, not finding out about Superfest until just recently. There seems to be an interesting collection of disability films such as:
The Epidemic by Neils Frandsen which won the Best of Festival Award. The film is a memoir of Frandsen’s life covering the Copenhagen polio epidemic of 1952 and how it impacted him, his family and his country.
No Bigger Than A Minute, by Steven Delano won the Excellence Award & Spirit Award given to a work of exceptional quality by a filmmaker with a disability. He combines historical footage with interviews and commentary by well known Hollywood actors such as Peter Dinklage (”The Station Agent”) and Meredith Eaton (”Boston Legal”), musicians, rappers, and comedians to develop a colorful, irreverent portrait of how dwarves or “people of short stature” have been represented on screen since the silent film era.
I have to admit, because of how this would tie into my interest of how the media portrays people with disabilities, this is one that I have a definite interest in.
There are several other winners from both inside and outside the United States but what really caught my attention was the Pamela K. Walker award winner. The award was given to German filmmaker Sven Werner for his short ‘Planet of the Blind’ about the experience of life with blindness. It is described as a filmic homage to our very own [with]tv supporter, Stephen Kuusisto’s best-selling poetic memoir. I’m curious to know how the film reflects what is in the book.
No Bigger than a Minute – PBS site: http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2006/nobiggerthanaminute/about.html
There is some additional video with performers and how they feel about representing “little people” and “dwarfs” in film and on television: http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2006/nobiggerthanaminute/special_clips.html
The Epidemic on the Danish Film Institute site: http://www.dfi.dk/english/Danish+films/Directors/filmFact.htm?FilmID=1008