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
Anita, a young woman with Down syndrome, gets separated from her mother after a bomb explodes at their Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires. As she wanders the city searching for her mom–alone for the first time ever–she discovers an inner strength few could have expected.
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.
From bionic limbs and neural implants to prenatal screenings researchers around the world are developing technologies to “fix” or enhance the human body. These developments not only challenge the concept of disability, but of what it means to be fundamentally be a human in the 21st century. Does a man with no legs truly have a “disability” when he can run faster than most people in the world? What does it mean to be “normal” in a world where increasing numbers of people turn to “smart drugs” to get ahead each day? Fixed looks at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that may make it possible. With interviews with world-renowned experts and scholars and cameo performances by some of the world’s leading integrated dance companies, Fixed is a comprehensive look at the fascinating science of human enhancement—and its practical and philosophical implications.
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.
World traveler Albert Casals doesn’t let his use of a wheelchair get in the way of his adventures. The 19-year-old sets out on a new journey to the farthest point from his home in Barcelona to a lighthouse in New Zealand… with his girlfriend Anna, his wit and charm, and just 20 euro in his pocket.
Doc U! Award, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2012
BIFF Award for Best Feature Documentary, Boulder International Film Festival 2013
One out of seven people will experience hearing loss in their lifetime. Meet music critic Nick Coleman, dancer Emily Thornton, and pianist Holly Loach who journeyed deep into sound and silence to re-discover music after losing their hearing. Intimate filming, original animation, a rich musical soundtrack (often manipulated to reveal what deafness actually sounds like), and new insights from the world’s top neuroscientists, the filmmaker, who herself experiences hearing loss, tells the story of the great human love affair with music.
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 from Reel Encounters 2014 will be shown in the Greater DC area:
Just as I remember
A life with Aspergers
Keep the Change
Monday, April 27
7:15PM at Imagination Stage: Motherly, A Life With Aspergers, Just As I Remember, Be My Brother*, The Commute
Wednesday, April 29:
6:30PM at Temple Rodef Shalom: Motherly, Just As I Remember, A Life With Asperger’s, Keep the Change, The Commute
6:30PM at The Ivymount School: Sensory Overload*, Beautiful*, Autism in Love*, A Life with Asperger’s, Keep the Change
*From Reel Encounters 2013
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, a blind piano prodigy from rural Taiwan who moves to the big city to attend university. Once there he finds himself competing on the same playing field as sighted students and struggling to find his way. When Siang meets Jie, a beautiful beverage vendor who dreams of being a dancer, they form a fast 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.