FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Liane Yasumoto
Int'l. Disability Film Festival
The Marsh Arts Center - Berkeley
June 17, 18, & 19, 2011 (Fri., Sat.. & Sun.)
Rio to RocKwiz: Youth Take the Spotlight at Berkeley's SUPERFEST 2011 International Disability Film Festival June 17-19
Where can you enter the imagination of a young child, be transported to a Bedouin village in the Negev desert, bear witness with a family as they go through one of life's most profound experiences, or sing in exaltation along with 54 loud, proud and passionate disabled women from 43 countries? At SUPERFEST, of course, the lively Berkeley-based festival known for its community spirit and presentation of ground-breaking, thought-provoking films. This year, for the first time, the focus is on youth, and for the first time, all 13 award-winning films are captioned, but some things remain constant: the range, depth and artistry are exceptional, and SUPERFEST films are a must-see for anyone who appreciates fine filmmaking. Enjoy great cinema, join in “Q & A” sessions, nosh at a "Meet & Mingle" reception, celebrate at a fun-filled award ceremony--be part of the SUPERFEST experience June 17-19 at the Marsh (formerly Gaia) Arts Center, 2120 Allston Way, at Shattuck, in downtown Berkeley. (Visit www.culturedisabilitytalent.org for complete list of awardees, film descriptions and screening schedule.)
Family Friendly Fare
If you're looking for top quality, affordable entertainment the whole family can enjoy or the perfect summer school/youth group outing, mark your calendar for June 17 when SUPERFEST kicks into high gear with "Family Friendly Friday" featuring films that are especially "cool for kids" and "terrific for teens". A great film is a gift for all ages, and whether you're 9 or 90, these five fantastic films are a SUPERFEST Sampler you'll want to try.
Flying Anne (Best of Festival, Netherlands) is a captivating 10-year old Dutch girl with Tourette's, whose high-flying gymnastics help make her tics and compulsive behaviors fade from view. At home with family, out exploring with a friend, in school giving a thoughtful presentation about her life to classmates, Anne is an absolute delight, and this outstanding little film is as exquisite and enchanting as Anne herself.
The Greatest Show On Earth (Excellence & Spirit, UK) pulses like a Latin drumbeat as it follows Nana, a charismatic young deaf woman, as she chases her samba dancing dream from London to Rio's famed Carnival. Nana's journey is all about life's possibilities, and this high-octane documentary shows what can happen when hard work and big dreams combust.
Antoine (Merit, Canada) is an docudramedy about an irresistible 5-year old blind Vietnamese boy who splits his time between kindergarten and solving mysteries with his hilarious side-kicks. Weaving poignant, even profound, real life moments with fanciful flights of imagination, Antoine is a totally original bit of film magic.
An encyclopedic knowledge of rock music charts, propels Mark, a young man with autism, from the safe routine of his ordered life into the chaotic spotlight of a TV quiz show in Rainman Goes to RocKwiz (Emerging Artist, Australia). The quirky "whiz kid" story is fascinating, but it's Mark's life, expressed with vibrant art, and his efforts to push beyond his fears for human connection, that makes "Rainman" special.
Mesmerizing Hannah (P.K. Walker Award, UK) moves through the ocean with grace and power, and without a word, this evocative, visually stunning gem shatters our preconceptions about what it means to have Down Syndrome.
Local Filmmakers Score with Provocative Memoirs
Three Bay Area filmmakers explore complex family dynamics and personal identity in provocative films for more mature teens and adults. With surprising candor, humor, and vulnerability, first time filmmaker Sarah Entine's Read Me Differently (Achievement, US) looks at the impact undiagnosed learning disabilities has had on the life choices and relationships of three generations of women—her grandmother, mother and herself. Using interviews, photographs, and home movies, Entine unpeels layers of hidden history to build an intricate, compelling documentary. Mothersbane(Merit, US) is distinguished by filmmaker Jason Jakaitis' incisive narrative recreation of a childhood that seemed to be dominated by his mother’s physical disabilities and frequent surgeries. Impressive for its creative blend of past and present and unflinching honesty, this is a rare, thoughtful memoir sure to inspire conversation. Crooked Beauty (Merit, US) is filmmaker Ken Paul Rosenthal's poetic chronicle of writer-artist Jacks McNamara's transformation from psych patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder to mental health activist and co-founder of The Icarus Project. McNamara's powerful words combined with Rosenthal's visual artistry make for a provocative exploration of madness as a tool of creativity, inspiration and hope.
Public Screening Schedule and Reception/Awards Event
Public screenings of the award-winning films will take place on Friday, June 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, June 18, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Marsh (formerly Gaia) Arts Center, 2120 Allston Way, (one block from the downtown Berkeley BART station) in Berkeley, California. Tickets are $5-$20/day sliding scale and will be sold only at the door. Please refrain from wearing perfume and other scented products. A "Meet the Makers" reception will take place on Sunday, June 19, 5-6 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony with live entertainment from 6-8 p.m. In honor of Father’s Day, all fathers in attendance on Sunday will receive a little treat. The reception and awards ceremony are free and open to the public.
Access Accommodations Available
The venue is wheelchair accessible. Braille and large print screening schedules are available. All films are captioned or subtitled and will be audio described. Film introductions, as well as the reception and awards event will be ASL interpreted. Please refrain from wearing scented products.
For additional access information, or to get a copy of the SUPERFEST 2011 screening schedule, visit: http://www.culturedisabilitytalent.org/superfest/index.html, e-mail: [email protected], or call the CDT voice mailbox at 510-845-5576.
SUPERFEST is presented by Culture Disability Talent (CDT), a grass-roots non-profit dedicated to promoting quality, authentic films that represent the rich diversity of the world’s disability community. SUPERFEST 2011 is made possible in part by the generosity of: the California Arts Council, KQED, Gabriel Ledger, M.D., the National Arts and Disability Center at UCLA, and Gary S. Yamamoto.
To schedule interviews or obtain DVD screeners and photos, please call Liane Yasumoto at 510-845-5576 or e-mail: [email protected]