ReelAbilities Film Descriptions
Opening Night Film
Come As You Are
Geoffrey Enthoven / Belgium / Dutch, French, Spanish / 115 min
A quirky road movie about three young men with disabilities on a quest to lose their virginity. These buddies enjoy the finer things in life, including wine and song; the only thing missing is the touch of a women. Isolated by their disabilities and cared for by their parents at home, they convince their families they need to go to Spain on a “wine tour” but this is a cover for their true destination—a Spanish brothel that caters to men with disabilities.
Reel Encounters 2013*
*these are a list of short films that may be grouped separately during the festival Various Filmmakers / Various Countries / Various Languages / 110 min
AUTISM IN LOVE
Dir. Michelle Friedline USA, 2012, 9 min, Documentary
RV Kuser is a clever and dapper man of 50 with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has learned to suppress certain behaviors so he can fully embrace life. He and his wife, Marlene, share secrets about their bond and RV reveals the true meaning of unconditional love.
Genevieve Clay, Australia, 2010, 17 min, Narrative
Two people with developmental disabilities navigate the challenges they are faced when their relationship is displayed in public.
BE MY BROTHER
Dir. Genevieve Clay, Australia, 2009, 8 min, Narrative
A young man with Down Syndrome breaks down the barriers of social prejudice when his charm and charisma challenge the prejudices of a stranger at a bus stop.
Dir. Justin Edgar, UK, 2011, 18 min, Narrative
A comedic short that follows a disastrous disability conference at a drab hotel. As plans for the conference unravel a comedy of politically incorrect manners unfolds.
DANCING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Dir. David Block, USA, 2012, 15 min, Documentary
Wheelchair users and able-bodied partners bring their two worlds together on the dance floor - proving that everyone can dance.
Dir. Catherine van Campen ,Netherlands, 2010, 21 min, Documentary
Eleven-year-old Anne is the kind of beautiful girl you can’t take your eyes off. The longer you look, the more you see her ‘tics’ from her Tourette’s syndrome - she suddenly spins or licks something. Anne is afraid of being teased at school and tries to keep her tics in check though she prefers ‘flying’ through life, so no one notices her tics.
Dir. Miguel Jiron, USA, 2012, 3 min, Narrative
This animation gives the viewer a glimpse into the sensory overload experienced by people with autism and shows how often sensory experiences intertwine in everyday life.
Dir. Ross Cohen, USA, 2012, USA, 16 min, Narrative
In 1964, a young pediatrician begins his residency at Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, only to discover that the institution is conducting Army funded experiments on developmentally disabled children. Based on true events.
Various / Various / 54 min
Louis Neethling/ UK/ Narrative, 2009, 27 min
Mark, a deaf man who was adopted by hearing parents, is determined to uncover the truth about his past. As the past collides with the present, Mark begins to wonder if ‘truth’ is always empowering or if it is sometimes wiser to forget the past
Louis Neethling/ UK/ Narrative/2010/27 min
A young hospital cleaner who is deaf avoids responsibility until a bond with an ailing patient gives him courage to face life.
Six Points About Emma
Roberto Perez Toledo / Spain / Spanish / 90 min
Emma is a magnetic, attractive, almost thirty-year old blind woman. Determined to have a baby, she sets out on a search for a man to get her pregnant. Two apparently ideal candidates appear in Emma’s life: Germán, a psychologist she knows from a therapy group she attends, and her young neighbor, Diego. Emma’s objective seems easy enough to achieve, but our heroine soon falls into the trap of her own devising and discovers that blindness comes in many forms.
Son of the Stars
Michelle Chen Miao / China / 90 min
Zheng Zheng, a young mother in search of her husband, travels the great distance from northern China to Dong Guan, “the land of tens of thousands of factories.” With her special-needs child Xin Xin in tow, she finds herself alone in the enormous city, with nothing but her wits and inner strength to guide her. When she fails to find her husband, she is forced to take a factory job and hands her son over to the care of a community-home. Zheng Zheng is promoted, moves into an apartment, and finds a new love but the relationship is not without strings attached and caring for an autistic son proves increasingly challenging.
The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes
Lena Koppel / Sweden / Swedish / 100 min
When Alex gets a job as the leader of a local theater group for people with disabilities his outlook on life begins to change. Through the theater group’s work, Alex comes to appreciate that every person has his or own talents, which can grow if given the opportunity and support.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM:
Jacques Spitzer / USA / English / 77 min
Steve Wampler, needs to do 20,000 pull-ups to climb the famous El Capitan Mountain in Yosemite – only 2-6 inches at a time, due to his cerebral palsy. His wife and two children cheer him on from below, along with fans who have come to support his important mission. In 2002, Steve founded a camp for kids with disabilities, and his climb will be a testament to the idea that kids with disabilities can do anything which they set their minds.