2013 Film Festival

November 1-2, 2013. Alamo Drafthouse Village.

A dark movie theater shows the Cinema Touching Disability logo on its screenCTD couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of this year’s Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival on November 1st & 2nd at the Alamo Drafthouse Village theater. Our theater was standing room only on both Friday night and Saturday night (co-hosted by Core Health and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas) for a program packed with great features, shorts, and special guests. The Fest is still going strong after 10 years! Read on for a recap.

Both evenings opened with something a little different: Boy Scout Richard Swafford wanted to do something creative for his Eagle service project. He chose to write, direct, and edit two short clips for Cinema Touching Disability, reminding the audience of the Alamo Drafthouse's no talking or texting policy. Featuring CTD staff members (that multi-talented bunch), they were both a big hit! Watch both shorts here!

A man speaking into a tape recorder lounges on a bench, while the woman sitting next to him seems intrigued but hesitant.The festival screened finalists from our ever-popular Short Film Competition. Audiences enjoyed pieces from Australia, the UK, Canada, Guatemala, and the U.S. Big congrats to our Grand Prize winners in the narrative and documentary divisions: Be My Brother (dir. Genevieve Clay) (left) and What Would You Change? (dir. Anthony Di Salvo), respectively. See our 2013 competition page for more about each of the finalists. Many thanks to the filmmakers worldwide who entered this year’s Short Film Competition!

CTD was pleased to screen two short films of our own this year. On Friday night, we premiered The Autistic Brain: an Interview with Dr. Temple Grandin, made in collaboration with Alex Murphy of Golden Arm Productions. View the interview here on our YouTube channel, and get Alex’s take on the experience in a guest blog post. Saturday’s program included 26.2: Austin to Boston, an account of the 2013 Boston Marathon from the perspective of a blind runner and his first-time sighted guide. Check it out on YouTube!

A woman sitting in a wheelchair holds a microphone close to her face with both hands.Another CTD initiative, the Pen 2 Paper creative writing contest, made an appearance at the Festival on Friday. Outstanding poets, performers and contest finalists Brian Scott and Maria Palacios (right) presented their poems to the Festival audience. We chose to officially reveal the Pen 2 Paper contest results at the Festival - a big surprise to Grand Prize winner Maria Palacios! Read all of Pen 2 Paper 2013’s superb finalists on the Pen 2 Paper homepage.

A man with his back to the camera spray paints the word CTD screened two incredible feature length documentaries into our program this year: Getting Up: The Tempt One Story and The Crash ReelGetting Up tells the story of a graffiti artist who is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and loses all bodily control except for that of his eyes. But through technology and the support of friends and fans from around the world, he is able to return to his art. In conjunction with Getting Up, CTD was thrilled to welcome special guest Sloke One, an Austin-based spray can artist, who painted a custom piece for the festival (left) and fielded questions about the graffiti art world following the film. After a showdown among audience members, CTD Board Vice President Crystal Lyons won the piece in a live auction. Thanks, Sloke and Crystal!

A snowboarder soars over a crowd of photographers and colorful balloons.The Crash Reel screened about a month before its wide theatrical release. This SXSW 2013 Audience Favorite follows professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce (right), who incurs a traumatic brain injury while preparing for his spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Our audience was deeply moved by this documentary, which is sweeping other film festivals and receiving Oscar buzz! Many thanks to The Crash Reel producer Julian Cautherley, who joined us via SKYPE for a Q&A after the film.


We definitely think this was the biggest and best Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival yet, but don’t just take our word for it! See what the audience had to say:

Thank you to all who participated. If you weren’t able to join us, be sure to check our YouTube page to view selected shorts, features, and extras from the Fest! We hope to see you next year!

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The 2024 Short Film Competition is open.

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The final deadline is June 7.

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