Monday, May 23, 2011

A Month of Movies: Wretches & Jabbers along with Sprout Film Festival

I love movies as people who knows me will heartily agree. One thing I especially love about movies seeing my experiences and the experiences of my fellow members of the global cross disability portrayed with the full breadth and depth of the human experience that it is on screen. What does this have to do with service dogs you ask? Well, my town participated in 100 cities.One night for Autism.I was ecstatic for two reasons:
1) I have always considered myself a part of the global cross disability and know that the only way things will truly improve for people with disabilities in meaningful in lasting ways is we as people with disabilities come together in common goals and understanding for the better-meant of everyone's life.
2) This was my first Sensory Friendly public film viewing of Wretches & Jabbers. A Sensory Friendly Film viewing is one where the movie goer does not have to endure the often painful sensory overload that today's movie house experience can be. At a Sensory Friendly showing the sound is at a normal level instead of the usual bone rattling decibels, the lights are lowered but not completely off, people may laugh, get up and move around, and speak if necessary without fear of being summarily thrown out of the theater for disturbing others.  I, for one, will attending many, many more sensory friendly films with my favorite movie watching companion, my service dog Shilo. At this showing I did not have to worry if the accessible seat were also right in the line of the speakers or the doors. With the sound at a decent volume and the lights up neither Shilo or I had to worry about being blasted out of our seats or stepped on/ jostled by other patrons coming and going who did not see use and tripped on us or bumped into one of us! I highly recommend sensory friendly film showings to everyone!

We also were especially lucky to have our town be a stop on the tour of the Sprout Film Festival again this year! Last year I inadvertently missed it and this year I was determined to go and I am so glad I did!As many of my readers know, I am a person living with cerebral palsy which is a developmental disability along with others like autism spectrum disorders, down syndrome, angelman's sydrome, fragile X, and many more; so, I was thrilled to hear that artists and every day people with developmental disabilities were making films of all sorts be they documentaries,  music videos, shorts, or animated that show people with developmental disabilities as the complex human beings were are with all the hopes, dreams, goals desires and talents as any person not living with a disability.  The selections for the matinee showing were funny, real, thought provoking, beautiful, and full of true talent. In the words of Anthony Di Salvo, founder of the Sprout Film Festival, who hosted out tour stop,
"The days of it being acceptable for a non-disabled actor to portray a character with a disability are over. Just as the day has passed where it was acceptable for a person not of a race or ethic group to portray a character representing  that experience has gone by; so, too, have the days of characters with disability being played by able bodied actors. There are plenty of talented actors and performers with disabilities to fill these roles!"

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