Spotlight on Disability Film Festivals: Superfest Dissies

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If you haven’t recognized by now that my sense of humor is often pretty dark, wry, self-deprecating, and politically motivated, I’ll just let you know now that it is. I will critique anything you put in front of me and have fun doing it. At this point, critiquing things around disability is probably my favorite past time after destroying salmon and volunteering at the cat shelter. (Note: those are references to my two short comedy films. If you haven’t bought them yet, you are so missing out about the salmon and the cats. Trailers are on my Vimeo page. Contact me to order 10 million copies of the films for yourself today.)

I’m loving critiques coming out like Caitlin Wood’s about the upcoming Fall TV lineup around disability. And recently The Portland Center for Public Humanities did a whole month of events and discussions around disability, nearly all of which I missed (as usual because I can’t keep track of what happens when). I did see the “How’s Your News?” documentary screening and get to hear a lot of stories from the filmmaker, Arthur Bradford, about what it was like to make the film and how his whole film project got started years ago at Camp Jabberwocky. There were many other events and lectures that looked very critically at how people with disabilities are represented in the media, literature, and through our laws, old and new. Way, way more often than not, disability is represented in the media by non-disabled people. That is just so weird to me.

Fortunately, the folks at the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability think that’s just so weird as well. This year’s Superfest Disability Film Festival is going to take critique to a whole new level. In fact, they are encouraging you to think about rotten tomatoes. In their words, they will “take a powerful look backward to explore the worst of the worst in the film representation of disability. We’ll feature many telling examples of how far we’ve come and we’ll highlight the worst of the worst with a new trophied award, ‘the Dissies.'”

Hurry! They’re taking nominations about the worst representations of disability only until June 30th. After that, you can still write to me and Caitlin Wood about representation. We always want to talk about that.