Disability-based film festival announces line-up

A film festival about disabilities has launched its line-up and announced both local and international guests. The Other Film Festival will open with the Australian premiere of Aphasia, about Carl McIntyre an actor who lost his ability to write, read and speak after a massive stroke. McIntyre will be a guest of the festival along with producer Chuck Bludsworth.

Other films include Deaf, Mugger, My Song, Athens Inferno, and Beautiful.The announcement:

The world’s leading disability film festival THE OTHER FILM FESTIVAL today announced a stellar line-up of local and international guests. The five-day event presented by Arts Access Victoria screens at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall from 19-23 September.

Opening night features the Australian premiere of festival circuit favourite APHASIA (USA) which follows the story of successful actor Carl McIntyre as he negotiates his way back from losing his ability to read, write and speak after a massive stroke. A guest of the festival, Carl will attend opening night along with producer and cinematographer Chuck Bludsworth and together they will present a second screening in the festival followed by a Q&A.

Carl and Chuck are in Melbourne and available for interviews Tuesday 18 to Sunday 23 September.

Headlining the Festival’s cutting-edge Deaf film program is UK director William Mager who presents his film DEAF MUGGER (UK) on opening night –  a comedy that sees a Deaf mugger taking his sign interpreter along so his victims understand they are being mugged – and later in the festival program MY SONG (UK) – a lyrical coming of age story about a young deaf woman. William will also join festival patron Adam Elliott in forum THE ART OF CAPTIONING.

William Mager is in Melbourne and available for interviews Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 September.

Rick Guidotti, one-time US fashion photographer who worked in Milan, Paris and London for clients such as Yves Saint Laurent, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Revlon, L’Oreal and Life Magazine, is a pioneer of a new vision of the beauty and richness of genetic diversity. Festival pop-up café/bar THE OTHER CLUB doubles as a gallery with Guidotti’s spectacular and beautiful large-scale prints, which depict young people with genetic difference, featured on the walls. Rick will present a session in the festival called POSITIVE EXPOSURE and will be photographing young people with genetic difference while in Melbourne.

Rick Guidotti is in Melbourne and available for interviews Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 September.

ATHENS INFERNO is a presentation by Greek filmmaker and disability activist Antonios Rellas direct from the frontline of civic upheaval in Greece, where earlier this year a man living at home in an iron lung died after the power was disconnected because the family were unable to pay the power bill. Antonios was one of nine people with a disability who occupied the Department of Social Security for two days, refusing to leave until the Federal Minister agreed to meet them to discuss their grievances. Using camera verite, Antonios presents the unfolding human rights tragedy in Greece and how people with a disability are fighting back.
Antonios Rellas is Melbourne and available for interviews Sunday 16 to Sunday 23 September.

US disability advocate and disabled actor Christine Bruno presents a compelling, frank and provocative industry session on AUTHENTIC CASTING. Did Snow White and the Huntsman really have to use non-short-statured actors as dwarfs? Why are so many non-disabled actors ‘cripping up’ for roles in Glee, Forrest Gump and Rain Man? Christine will explain how the film industry can move beyond antiquated stereotypes by utilising this largely untapped talent pool to tell universal stories from bold, unique and fresh perspectives.

Christine Bruno is in Melbourne and available for interviews Monday 17 to Sunday 23 September.

Australian filmmakers have a strong presence at the festival this year and will be on hand to present their films and are available for interviews:

Genevieve Clay-Smith, director of BEAUTIFUL, will join producer Caro Roach and the film’s lead actors in presenting their film. BEAUTIFUL (Australia) sees two people with intellectual disabilities navigate the challenges that surround them when their relationship is on display.

Melbourne-based filmmaker Gemma Falk presents her whimsical short 3.15 TO BRUNSWICK (Australia) which captures a romantic moment of connection while waiting for a train that never arrives.

Elise Bailyew’s documentary JUST BE FRANK is the story of African-American blind jazz singer Frank Senior’s adjustment from a cane to training his new guide dog in the busy streets of downtown Manhattan.

Director Costa Athanassiou joins Alex Litsoudis in presenting WHO IS HE?, a film about Alex’s determination to make it on stage and screen.

Sex is under the microscope in a free and timely forum entitled SEX, LOVE AND INTIMACY – a robust, inclusive and long overdue public discussion tackling the diverse issues of sexual desire, sexuality, intimacy, relationships, gender reassignment, disability and choice. The forum is moderated by sex educator Cyndi Darnell and speakers include sex worker and passionate advocate for the sexual rights of people with a disability Rachel Wotton, rural author Thomas Banks who is gay and has cerebral palsy, developer of the ground-breaking Social Impact Program Donna Gabriel, community and disability policy development advocate David Craig and Kath Duncan, a queer amputee who was born different and intends to stay that way. Participation in this discussion is welcomed!
Interviews are available.

Blind Australian filmmaker and festival judge Tony Sarre joins festival patron Adam Elliott for the forum THE ART OF AUDIO

DESCRIPTION.
Both Tony and Adam are available for interviews.

ACCESSIBLE CINEMA FOR ALL
The festival is delivered in a custom-built, highly accessible and fully inclusive cinema in Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall.
All films are open captioned and audio described.
All sessions and forums will be Auslan interpreted.
Guide Dogs are welcome and water bowls are available.

THE OTHER FILM FESTIVAL has a classification exemption from the Classification Board. No person under the age of 15 years shall be admitted to the screenings of films unless in the company of a parent of guardian.

The Other Film Festival is supported by the Australian Government.

The Other Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of their partners who include City of Melbourne, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Perpetual Trustees, Ian Potter Foundation, Red Bee Media, Caramel Creative, William Angliss Charitable Fund and the U.S. Consulate.

Source: The Other Film Festival press release

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