Deluge of Disabilities and Diversity
On film and TV (Try saying that 3x fast)
This year, we’ve seen a tremendous surge in diversity in film and TV. Nothing like anyone I could’ve imagined - Special Needs, Asian in leads and the undead rising up. Oh my.
Holly and I were very fortunate to attend even a new film festival, Reel Abilities at Universal City Walk sponsored by AMC. It’s the Los Angeles chapter of Reel Abilities, a festival dedicated to those with disabilities.Congrats to Michael Dougherty and all the sponsors. Special Guest RJ Mitt from BREAKING BAD as well as other working actors with a disability appeared in a guest panel to discuss and educate everyone about the movement for more diversity on film and TV.
There was a delightful treasure trove of films such as PEANUT BUTTER FALCON from the SXSW Film Festival
A kid with Down Syndrome, Zak Gottsagen, teams up with a drifter, Shia LaBeouf. They go on an adventure to a Wrestling Camp. This sounds eerily similar to my movie, MY APOCALYPTIC THANKSGIVING
Or even ones that challenged the narrative and experiment and an actor with a disability as a romantic lead, FREAKS.
There were also some very talented up and coming filmmakers from the Easter Seals Disability Challenge
This provided a special education about humanization for those with disabilities.
Here are some other great movies that cinephiles should definitely check out.
"Last year, I almost died… ever since then I’ve been scared to do anything.” Emma Clark voices over the trailer. That’s all I need to hear. I can totally relate to this movie. Anyone who’s survived a serious car crash or a serious illness, can relate to this movie.
Having almost died this year, this movie deeply moved me. If I could choose a way out,I would have loved to a large banquet to stuff myself surrounded by loved ones. What’s it like to be so close to death? One of my last regretful thoughts was, “I shouldn’t have had an extra helping of French Toast at the buffet.”
ATYPICAL and the GOOD DOCTOR are tv shows where someone with autism is the lead. I had pitched similar ideas, but was always advised that no one wants to watch a special needs adult as the main character. Go figure. More voices, more original stories can be told if people take a chance.
ZOMBIELAND DOUBLE TAP
the Undead rise again in the middle of the apocalypse. Time to kick ass and make people laugh. Comedy, action, and zombies.
We were blessed to attend a Q&A with triple threat writer, director and actor, Shoshana Stern
Dina is an American documentary film directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, about Dina Buno and Scott Levin, both on the autism spectrum, getting married.