More than 1200 workers with developmental disabilities work at Lott Industries, a car manufacturing company in Toledo, Ohio. But, as the auto industry declines in neighboring Detroit, Lott has been threatened with closure – and has only twelve months to reinvent and, hopefully, save itself. A Whole Lott More tracks this critical year for Lott from the perspectives of three unique and unforgettable people - Wanda, TJ and Kevin. In its portrayal of Lott’s potential demise, the film explores the narrow range of employment available to people with developmental disabilities and details the incredible contribution they can make in the working world when provided with the right support.
Audience Award, HotDocs 2013
When Ross McKenzie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he was told he would have to take lithium for the rest of his life. To Ross, taking the drug daily felt like a chemical lobotomy, leaving him in a foggy, drug-induced haze, so he opted to resolve his symptoms outside of conventional medicine. Thus Ross began a fifteen year journey to treat his symptoms through alternative treatments and to discover the cause of his mental breakdown. Bipolarized uses Ross’ personal experiences as well as interviews with activists and psychiatrists to tell a larger, timely story about medication.
A quirky road movie about three young men with disabilities on a quest to lose their virginity. These buddies enjoy the finer things in life, including wine and song; the only thing missing is the touch of a women. Isolated by their disabilities and cared for by their parents at home, they convince their families they need to go to Spain on a “wine tour” but this is a cover for their true destination—a Spanish brothel that caters to men with disabilities.
The beloved characters from The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes return! When the group decides to shoot a film about their lives, Peter calls his old friend Max, a successful, yet lonely and depressed, NYC-based cinematographer. When Max arrives he realizes that the documentary he has promised to shoot is about people with disabilities and he is forced to confront his own prejudices.
Albert’s exhilaration with life is contagious. At 20-years old he has already traveled much of the world with just 20 euros in his pocket, relying on his street smarts and the kindness of strangers to get around. Albert just won’t let anything get in his way, least of all his wheelchair. As he sets out on his biggest trip – from his home in Barcelona to a lighthouse in New Zealand – he bring along a video camera and his girlfriend, Anna. But Albert’s incredible dedication to his voyage and resourcefulness in the most foreign of places is unmatchable and Anna finds herself struggling to keep up. But while Albert himself is irrepressibly optimistic, speaking mostly of the present and his goals for the future, interviews with his grandmother, stepmother, and father, reveal the tough time he had as a kid. Also, through these interviews and delightful animation, Albert’s family explains why they have always let Albert go on these trying journeys.
IDFA - Doc U & 3r Audience Awards
Zagreb International Fest - Youth Award
Boulder International Film Festival - Best Documentary
One out of seven people will experience hearing loss in their lifetime. For music critic Nick Coleman, dancer Emily Thornton, and pianist Holly Loach, music and hearing were central to their lives and spirits pre-hearing loss. Lost and Sound follows these artist after they lost their hearing and as they journeyed deep into sound and silence to re-discover music. Made by a partially deaf filmmaker after the future of her own hearing was called into doubt, the film weaves its way through a startling world of altered sound. It combines intimate filming with original animation, a rich musical soundtrack (often manipulated to reveal what deafness actually sounds like), and new insights from the world’s top neuroscientists, to tell the story of the great human love affair with music. Featuring: New York Times bestseller Dr. David Eagleman, composer Professor Nigel Osborne, Dr. Katie Overy, Prof. David Huron, Dr. Robert Zatorre and science writer Philip Ball.
DORF Croatia 2013 – Best Film
A romantic tale about two New Yorkers, Armando from the Bronx and Mia from the East Side, and their love of ballroom dancing. Mia is a vivacious professional dancer but a tragic accident forever changes her life. True to his heart, Armando dedicates himself, along with a group of colorful misfits, to help Mia deal with her challenges and dance once more.
The short films listed below will be shown in the Greater DC area:
Just as I remember
A life with Aspergers
Keep the Change
46/47 / Nadine Heinze & Marc Dietschreit, 8 min, Germany
Daniel doesn’t feel different, so why does everyone treat him so?
A Life with Aspergers / Jaime Ekkens, 4 min, USA
A beautifully animated documentary that explores the challenges of growing up and living with Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Commute / Jake Alexander-McAfee, 4 min, USA
A wheelchair user tries to get home using public transportation – and finds himself on an arduous journey.
The Interviewer / Genevieve Clay-Smith & Robin Bryan, 13 min, Australia
When Thomas realizes his interviewer at a fancy
law firm would have Down Syndrome, he must disregard all preconceptions.
Just as I Remember / Andrew Moir, 17 min, USA
When Andrew Moir meets Brad, who has ALS, he is
reminded of his father who died from ALS the disease when Andrew was young.
Keep the Change / Rachel Israel, 16 min, USA
A coming-of-age love story about
a wealthy young man with social disorders who meets a woman at a group for
people with intellectual disabilities.
Motherly / Navid Nikkhah Azad, 13 min, Iran
Set out at a park in Tehran, a mother is anxious to reveal the identity of her soon to be
daughter in law.
Sounds for Mazin / Ingrid Kamerling, 19 min, Netherlands
12-year old Mazin looks forward to hearing with cochlear implants – but his friends
make him second guess the operation.
Based on the true life story of Huang Yu-Siang, who stars as himself, Touch of the Light tells the story of a blind piano prodigy from rural Taiwan who moves to the big city to attend university. At university he finds himself competing on the same playing field as sighted students and struggling to find his own way. When Siang meets Jie, a beautiful beverage vendor who dreams of being a dancer, they form a quick friendship. Jie’s wretched home life stands in the way of her dreams but Siang’s determination becomes her own inspiration and drive.
Golden Horse Film Festival 2012 - FIPRESCI Prize, Best New Director, Best Actress
Busan International Film Festival 2012 - Audience Award
Two men with autism–an accomplished artist and an activist–embark on a global quest to change attitudes about autism and intelligence. Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, dissecting, challenging, and reshaping public conceptions along the way.