Superfest International Disability Film Festival


SUPERFEST International Disability Film Festival

Disability Culture
what is it about
It's who we are
comin' at ya from the inside out
--from Disability Culture Rap
SUPERFEST Best of Festival 2000

Each June, Berkeley comes alive with the visions of film and media makers exploring the complexities of disability experience and the rich diversity of disability culture. SUPERFEST International Disability Film Festival, an annual two-day showcase of juried films, videos, television shows and DVDs, is the longest running festival of its kind in the world. What began in 1970 in Los Angeles as a small film showcase intended to encourage greater participation of disabled people in the telecommunications industry, has grown into an international media event that honors and celebrates the unique contributions of the growing disability arts and culture movement by exhibiting the most innovative and provocative works from both seasoned filmmakers and emerging media arts professionals. SUPERFEST takes great pride in its outstanding record of providing world premiere exhibition and first time award recognition to many fine films and videos that have gone on to receive major distribution, airing on national television, and international festival success.

Media images can empower, enlighten, inform, educate, delight and challenge us. Just as images of Rosa Parks and the March on Washington became a vital force in the African American struggle for social justice, so can the fresh, diverse, often empowered and exuberant images coming out of disability culture, help transform how people with disabilities are perceived, accepted and honored. SUPERFEST is an annual opportunity for film and media artists to introduce potent ideas and images from the disability experience into the cultural landscape and to build and promote a vital disability culture.

In 1982, SUPERFEST became a primary project of Culture!Disability!Talent! (CDT) (formerly the Corporation on Disabilities and Telecommunication.) CDT is a non-profit, collaborative organization that works to transform disability stereotypes by providing access and opportunities for performers and mediamakers with disabilities. Comprised of disability culture artists, activists and allies, CDT promotes artistic excellence and diversity by presenting disability culture events.

In 1995, CDT and SUPERFEST moved from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area, the birthplace of the disability rights/independent living movements and a region known for its rich cultural diversity and support for experimental arts. Although SUPERFEST continues to encourage greater inclusion of diverse representations of disability in mainstream media, with the move to Berkeley came greater encouragement for independent films, experimental work and films and media from an "inside" disability perspective. With its rowdy disability community spirit and its showcase of eclectic disability themed films from around the world, SUPERFEST has taken its place among the other diverse film festivals held in the Bay Area.

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