Superfest International Disability Film Festival



Congratulations to this year's award winners!

Superfest 2011 Award Winners' List

Best of Festival

Excellence Awards

Achievement Awards

Merit Awards

Pamela K. Walker Award


Descriptions of Award Winners

Flying Anne (20 min.) NETHERLANDS
Producer: Joost Seelen
Director: Catherine van Campen
Contact: Rob Maas, [email protected]
Eleven-year-old Anne stands out--for her gymnastic talents, her finely etched features, her effervescence. A Dutch portrait, she is the kind of girl you can't take your eyes off. The longer you look, the more you see her 'tics,' caused by Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome. Tourette’s makes her body do things Anne doesn't necessarily want, such as suddenly spinning around or licking everything. Anne sometimes finds it hard to cope with this, especially in school, where she’s afraid others will bully or laugh at her. To escape these concerns, Anne takes charge by 'flying' through life, so you can’t notice anything unusual.

The Greatest Show on Earth (24 min.) U.K.
Producer: Rosa Rogers
Director: Rosa Rogers
Contact: Hilary Durman, [email protected]
Nana Twum-Danso, 25, has one main passion in her life - dance. Born deaf, in her early years she wasn't allowed to sign. Nana believes dance became an outlet for all the feelings she was unable to express. This drum-driven documentary follows her from England on a life changing journey to study at one of Brazil's best samba schools. Nana challenges herself to become good enough in one short week to perform in the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, a 40 hour long, first class, fever-pitched competition. Nana also visits deaf children at their Rio school, where she is impressed that they are being taught to dance.

Voices from El-Sayed (75 min.) ISRAEL
Producer: Belfilms
Director: Oded Adomi Leshem
Contact: Hadar Taylor, [email protected]
In the picturesque Israeli Negev desert, we find the small Bedouin village of El-Sayed. Although it is reported to have the largest percentage of deaf people in the world, there are no hearing aids to be seen, maybe because in El-Sayed, deafness is not perceived as a disability. Through the generations a unique sign language has evolved, making it the most popular language in this rare society that wholly accepts deafness. The village tranquility and the family balance are interrupted by Salim's decision to change his young deaf son's life and make him a hearing person using a Cochlear Implant.

Drona & Me (19 min.) NETHERLANDS
Producer: Joost Seelen
Director: Catherine van Campen
Contact: Rob Maas, [email protected]
Drona, 9 and Arjun, 12 are close-knit brothers from an Asian family that immigrated to a small Dutch city. Drona, who has autism, is quick to tell the barber exactly how he wants his hair cut, and is obviously entranced by the bus driver who answers his many questions about his routine. We are watching Drona through the eyes of Arjun, who is not sure Drona can become a bus driver but fervently hopes so. Arjun greatly enjoys his brother, and finds it hard to explain to him why Drona is not very welcome in his demanding football (soccer) practice. This documentary is a loving double-portrait of two brothers.

Read Me Differently (56 min.) U.S.
Producer: Sarah Entine
Director: Sarah Entine
Contact: Sarah Entine, [email protected]
A shock of recognition in social work school leads first-time filmmaker Sarah Entine to explore how undiagnosed learning disabilities have impacted three generations in her family, including her own struggles. With surprising candor, vulnerability and even a touch of humor, Read Me Differently reveals patterns among the learning and communication styles of this triad of maternal grandmother, mother and daughter. Evocative photos capture the early 20th century life of her grandmother; then interviews of Entine’s family and teachers, supported by some home movies, provide more contemporary pieces of the puzzle.

Stark! Moritz--It'd Be Cool If She Became an Angel (15:06 min.) GERMANY
Producer: Eva Radlicki
Director: Simone Grabs
Contact: Tanja Gunsch, [email protected]
"Football helps me to deal with my sadness", says 14 year old Moritz, talking about his younger sister, Luca, who is 11 and very ill. Since eating and drinking have become difficult for Luca, the family has agreed she will now use a gastric feeding tube. Luca has mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), a genetic metabolic disorder, which is not treatable. She can no longer walk or talk, and may not have long to live. Moritz clearly enjoys looking after Luca, especially making sure she experiences the things he knows she still appreciates. He’s the kind of elder brother that everyone wants: caring, sensitive and cool.

Antoine (52 min.) CANADA
Producers: Laura Bari and Mila Aung-Thwin
Director: Laura Bari
Contact: Laura Bari, [email protected]
A sensitive portrait of the real and imaginary life of Antoine, a boy detective who runs and drives. Over the course of two years he co-created the sound track of this film using a mini-boom microphone. This child, who is of Vietnamese origin, was born one hundred days prematurely. Antoine is five years old, blind and integrated into the regular school system in Montreal with unprecedented success. Through a diversity of scenes, we come to know Antoine’s schoolmates, his free flowing imagination and his occasional impatience with the adults who try to counsel him about the trials of friendship.

Crooked Beauty (31 min.) U.S.
Producer: Angel Vasquez
Director: Ken Paul Rosenthal
Contact: Ken Paul Rosenthal, [email protected]
Crooked Beauty is a poetic documentary that chronicles artist-writer Jacks McNamara's transformative journey from psych ward patient to pioneering mental health advocacy. This film re-shapes mental health stigmas and stereotypes into a new healing culture and political model for living with madness as a tool of creativity, inspiration and hope. The filmmaker, inspired by McNamara’s article, “Anatomy of Flight,” devises his own visual and highly textured representation of her journey, including plays on light and dark, birds on high wires, and a wide variety of signs embedded in natural and manmade spaces.

Departure Lounge (26 min.) U.K.
Producers: Louis Neethling and David Horbury
Director: Louis Neethling
Contact: Louis Neethling, [email protected]
This dramatization is essentially a celebration of the friendship and deaf solidarity that develops between Sid, an older hospital patient, and Matt, a young hospital cleaner. Sid is angry, frightened by his condition and isolated, while Matt is running away from his responsibilities as a father, husband and employee. They get to know each other through temporary escapes from their routines, up on the hospital roof. Gradually, both men realize that, despite their major differences, each can mentor and lend courage to the other.

Loud, Proud, and Passionate! (5 min.) U.S.
Producers: Susan Sygall and Mobility International U.S.A.
Directors: Dana Vion and Sky's the Limit Creative Services
Contact: Susan Sygall, [email protected]
Signing and singing with passion in Arabic, English and Spanish, 54 disabled women activists from 43 countries celebrate the achievements, pride and solidarity of women with disabilities around the world. The filmmakers describe this short video: “These leaders are revolutionizing the status of women and girls worldwide. Filmed during Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) 5th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), the Loud, Proud and Passionate music video release marks the beginning of MIUSA's 30th Anniversary year long celebration.”

Mothersbane (11:40 min.) U.S.
Producer: Jason Jakaitis
Directors Jason Jakaitis
Mothersbane is a personal documentary that explores the filmmaker's ambivalent relationship to his mother's physical disabilities and frequent surgeries. It is a mixed-media portrait, alternating between the present - in which his mother … prepares for a major surgery - and recollections of the filmmaker's past. The film uses “Super 8 recreations of childhood memories to express the love and anxiety, and protectiveness and dread that has defined his [the filmmaker’s] relationship with his mother.”

Rainman Goes to RocKwiz (30 min.) AUSTRALIA
Producer: Amy Scully
Director: Russell Kilbey
Mark Boerebach lives in a black and white world but says he dreams in color. He is described by the filmmakers as a “nearly blind recluse with Asperger’s Syndrome.” This docudrama asks us: “Can Mark break out of his constrictive routine and show his amazing music chart recall on a live TV quiz show?” Living in Sydney, Mark is known among local rock aficionados for his detailed recall of 1980s Australian music charts. When he has a chance to participate in the Melbourne music trivia show, supporters do their best to prepare Mark for the bright lights, pressure and unpredictability of the trip and TV.

Hannah (5 min.) U.K.
Producer: Sergio Cruz
Director: Sergio Cruz
A celebration of motion, energy and elegance of human movement, evoking the power of adrenaline in the young Hannah Dempsey. This short film of a young woman with a disability makes the connection between art and sport, with emphasis on the athlete-dancer relationship. Hannah’s aspirations are presented as a symbol of hope that the 2012 London Olympics represents to us all. The film can also be seen as an investigation of movement, metamorphosis, colors, textures and rhythms. It submerges us in a sea of sound, awash with aspiration.

For additional information about the films and the filmmakers, please contact us at [email protected]

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