Cinema Touching Disability 2017 Wrap up

October 13 - 14, 2017
Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 West Anderson Lane, Austin TX, 78757 (map)

The 14th annual Cinema Touching Disability has come to a close, and we are so proud to report that it was another remarkable year! The Alamo Drafthouse Village was our host once again for two nights of film that explored the world of prosthetics.

Shot from a low angle, a young man with no legs and a determined expression leans forward on a skateboard as he propels himself with his hands.As always, we began our program both nights with winning entries from our international Short Film Competition, selected from over 70 submissions. Action-packed Latvian short, Just, Go! (left), picked up 1st Place, as well as Audience Favorite, in the Non-documentary division. Inspired by true events, Just, who lost both of his legs in a childhood accident, chases down a pair of purse-snatchers to win the affections of his crush.

A man sitting among rows of theater seats looks up and off camera and holds back a big smile1st Place in the Documentary Division went to My Dad Matthew, a glimpse into the life of a man with a significant disability, as voiced by his insightful and articulate son.

Audience Favorite was a very close vote, with the winner going to 4 Quarters of Silence, which follows the Texas School for the Deaf Rangers football team. As luck would have it, Rangers Coach John Moore, Jr. was in attendance at the Festival­­—and quite pleased with the results (right)!

My Bionic Pet (2014) screened as our big feature on Friday night. The documentary takes a look at animals with injuries or disabilities—and the custom prosthetics their humans develop for them.

A man in a grey officer's uniform kneels down to pet a black and white cat, whose back legs are in a wheeled harness.During the pre-show, audience members got the chance to hang out with cohost Austin Animal Center and local bionic pet and Instagram star, Elmer the cat!

Joining our Dennis Borel for welcome remarks, AAC Animal Protection Officer Mark Sloat connected with the audience about the possibilities of adopting pets with disabilities and how it helps Austin maintain its Zero Kill status (left, saying hello to Elmer before the show).

On a theater screen, a pink pig props himself up on his front legs. In the foreground is a man holding a microphone to his face. Because of the way both are facing each other, it looks like they are having a live conversation.Following the film, My Bionic Pet star Chris P. Bacon, a pig who uses a wheelchair, joined us via Skype for a Q&A (left, with CTD's Executive Director and MC Dennis Borel). Our audience (or should we say awww-dience?) was thrilled to chat with Chris P. and his “dad,” veterinarian Dr. Len Lucero.

Saturday night, Out on a Limb (2013) took top billing as our feature film. Seamlessly blending the technical with the personal, Daria Price's documentary captures the experience of using today’s most advanced artificial limbs and glimpses the exciting possibilities in the future of prosthetics.

A man holds a microphone up to the face of a young woman who is using both hands to lift up a colorful, plastic prosthetic.Attendees started a beautiful evening on the Drafthouse patio with live music on by Sean Wallace and Tristan Archer, local musicians with disabilities. Our pre-show also included exhibitor e-NABLE UT, an incredible group of college students who use 3D printers to make custom hand prosthetics for children. After the film, Dennis Borel moderated a panel on prosthetics today, with local athlete Greg LaKomski and e-NABLE UT founder and president Glori Das (left).

Between films, we presenting a brief but lively reading from this year's Pen 2 Paper creative writing contest. P2P co-coordinator Laura Perna read finalist Sandy Hiortdahl's "Ode to Mrs. Hutchison" and finalist Amy Litzinger read her "Letter to my 8-Year Old Self." Read more fantastic entries from this year's contest (and vote on your favorites)!

Closeup of the headstock of a guitar lays on crushed red velvet. Etched into the headstock are the logos for Delaney Guitars and Cinema Touching Disability.Cinema Touching Disability 2017 came to close with a live auction for a one-of-a-kind CTDFF2017 electric guitar, donated by Delaney Guitars (right).

View, tag, and share more photos from this year's Festival by William Philpott on our Facebook page

Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival & Short Film Competition is made possible in 2017 by generous support from our 2017 Film Fest sponsors. We also extend our thanks to our 2017 Short Film Competition judges and Fest volunteers, Erika Lawn, Sabrina Estrada, Bryson Smith, Alex Osborne, and Veronica Wright.

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