2018 Short Film Competition

Film Fest logo. A blue handy man leaning forward holds a green video camera. The wheel of his wheelchair forms the C in the phrase Cinema Touching Disability.

October 19-20, 2018
Alamo Drafthouse Village

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

Documentary Division Final Results

1st Place: Dancing Wheels (dir. Lucia Barata)
Dancing Wheels is a short film about a non-profit dance company Corpo em Movimento (Body in Movement) formed by disable dancers. It was founded in 1985 and since then they have given wheelchair components their autonomy, happiness and freedom back. This dancing group participated in two ParaOlympics, in the Closing Ceremony in Sydney and London. And in “Maracanã Stadium” in the Confederation Cup. Since the Documentary first shooting in 2014, due to the political and economical huge crisis Brazil, "Body in Movement” lost all sponsors. The Documentary it’s and alert and homage to this beautiful and brave concept and about the important changes in those people lives that’s risking to fade. Hopefully not forever.

2nd Place: Kayaking Outtasight (dir. Seth Dahl)
Team River Runner holds an annual July "Outtasight" kayaking clinic in the USA's Paradise Valley of Montana for blind and visually impaired veterans. Blind kayaker, Lonnie Bedwell, helps recruit veterans for the program and encourages them with tricks and tips he's learned along the way. Many of the 2016 participants haven't even touched a kayak before, let alone run whitewater. By the end of the week they are charging through the rapids of Yankee Jim Canyon on the Yellowstone River. Learn more.

3rd Place (tie) & Audience Favorite: Meeting Mick (dir. Susie Forster)
Tim Winton-Brown met Mick on the dance floor. Tim was still recovering from the accident that left him with incomplete quadriplegia. Mick's creativity was infectious and started Tim on his own artistic journey. Learn more.

3rd Place (tie): Victor (dir. Chibuzo Mobis)
Victor must face his nightmare with one leg after being involved in a ghastly motor accident.


[jürg] (dir. Raphael Meyer)
On a Friday morning, Jürg collapsed on the floor of his apartment and remained there paralyzed for 36 hours. When he woke up in a hospital bed, the renowned professor of linguistics had become completely mute.

Asher- A Therapeutic Family Dog (dir. Claire Fraser)
Asher, a seven year old border collie lives with Harriet's parents, Sandra Haycock and Angus Johnston. Sandra has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for almost thirty years and Angus deals with arthritis and has trouble with his mobility. With the help of Harriet, the family has trained Asher through shaping basic tricks into becoming a therapeutic working dog. He is able to pick things up, take off socks and trousers and alert for help when a family members falls down. He is not a registered therapy dog, however he has clearly become an incredibly valuable member of the family.

The Best Way (dir. Filip Jacobson)
No pictures, only font. No protagonists, only Steffi, a computer voice. Not the fate of an individual but a portrait of a group. The film shows the everyday life of blind people, their clash with sighted people and small mean things on both sides. “The best way” is read out by a computer voice and composed from a variety of anecdotes taken from the experience of blind people. It uses black humour to tell a tale about their daily lives.

Gaelynn Lea- The Songs We Sing (dir. Mark Brown)
Minnesota violinist and disability rights advocate Gaelynn Lea along with her husband, Paul, travels the upper Midwest on tour, experiencing the ups and downs of the road while hustling hard to make it as a performer and artist.

Help You See- Mathew's Story (dir. Stephen J Payne)
A 16 year old blind aboriginal musician from a remote Manitoba reserve gets the opportunity to take the stage with Grammy award winning pop star Nelly Furtado in Winnipeg, but things don't go quite as planned. Tune in to join Mathew in his quest to share his music with the world.

Keith Pevoto: beLIeVE (dir. Rhett Goldman)
A documentary about a man who is learning to live again after becoming blind and paralyzed due to the effects of neurosarcoidosis. Learn more.

Kiss our Fears Goodbye (dir. Jay Pinkster)
Four mates go on an epic rock'n' roll pilgrimage to see Kiss live in concert and in the process they overcome their fears and end up on stage.

The Last Train in (dir. Martin Borden)
Playwright Adam Grant Warren works with Director Derek Chan and Producer Pedro Chamale to bring his play "Last Train In" to the stage. Based on his own experiences as a wheelchair user during a year spent teaching in England, his play challenges the familiar “triumph” trope seen so often in stories about disability. The film covers the writing and rehearsal process through to performance at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre as part of the rEvolver Theatre Festival in 2017. As the sets, sound, and lighting design come together, Adam explains his motivation for writing about this personal and painful episode in his life, when physical and psychological barriers left him stuck alone one night on a railway platform in a small town outside of London. As his story unfolds, the audience is tempted to slot his experiences into the well established “Inspiration Porn” template, but playwright, performer, and provocateur, Adam Grant Warren has other ideas.

Ordinary Human (dir. Anna Jakubowska)

Rosemary (dir. Dave Donnellan)
Rosemary is a visually impaired woman from the Traveller and Roma communities who is living homeless in Dublin. She takes no support from the government living by selling 'The Big Issue' magazine and busking. She is a survivor but dreams one day of owning her own place where she can grow her own vegetables and keep some animals.

Sexual Being (dir. Paul Stavropoulos)
Chandler is an emerging porn star and self-described sexual deviant trying to make it big in Toronto. Meaghan is a socially attuned empath and aspiring actress making experimental films in LA. They both happen to have cerebral palsy, and they’re sick of society’s normative standards of beauty getting in the way of their dreams. A raw, intimate portrait of two people’s distinct journeys on their first attempts to shift the social perceptions of sexuality and disability. Learn more.

Taking Back the Waves (dir. Genevieve Clay-Smith)
Paralympian, Paul Nunnari, travels up Australia's world famous coast uncovering programs that have helped people with disabilities gain access to the beach. Some haven't been to the beach in over 15 years, it's hard to think that one of life's most universal pleasures can't be enjoyed by everyone because local council's haven't thought about access needs for people with a disability.

Non-documentary Division Final Results

1st Place: Jeremy the Dud (dir. Ryan Chamley)
Jeremy the Dud is a comedy set in a world where everyone has a disability, and those that don't are treated with the same prejudice, stigma and condescending attitudes people with disabilities face in our own society. Jeremy is a dud, or "without specialty". He has been living in assisted government housing his whole life after the death of his parents when he was young. Now, too old for assisted living, he is off to live with his Auntie and cousins and ready to make something of himself. The only trouble is the outside world isn't very accepting of "Duds". Learn more.

2nd Place (tie): Aquí es posible, Communication L.C. dir. Blanca Zaragüeta, Joseba Huegun
Andoni, owner of an advertising agency, casually meet his neighbor Enrike, Down syndrome.

2nd Place (tie): A Pinprick of Light (dir. Kasra Karimi)
A university professor starts to lose his eyesight and begins to fear his world is slipping away. Could a dream keep alive his memories of what he holds dear? Learn more.

3rd Place & Audience Favorite: My Complex Relationship with My Disability (dir. Espen Johnson)
A comedic exploration of how a disabled guy interracts daily with his disability, and why he stopped 'fighting' it. Learn more.

Act Natural (dir. Luca Fox)
Act Natural is a short film that seeks to exhibit the inner battle that occurs within people with high- functioning autism as they engage in everyday conversation.

Adam's Story (dir. Jason Natzke)
When a class presentation is assigned, 12-year-old Adam must confront his crippling stutter.

Alone (dir. Antoine Laurens)
Based on Chabouté's Graphic Novel. Learn more.

The Blind of the Cathedral (dir. Nadine Asmar)
In front of a cathedral, fate led to Hala and Bachir’s meeting. At first sight, they share nothing in common: she is a 15-year-old student, she is Muslim and she sees. Whereas Bachir is 27, he plays the lute, he is Christian and blind. In a country ruled by hatred and conflicts, division and exacerbated sectarianism, and just before the burst of the civil war, two pure souls meet. Hala and Bachir will go through an adventure that will empower their innocent love. But a dark fate awaits them… Learn more.

Blindness (dir. Navid Nikkhah Azad)
A blind mother asks for help from a woman to know if the girl who loves her son is beautiful or not.

Blue-Grey (dir. Laëtitia Martinucci)
End of August. Corsica. Elbe, 17 years old, deaf since birth, is vacationing at her older sister Mathilde. ​One day, during her visit of the Revellata lighthouse, she catches a glimpse of a man who is coming out of the sea after scuba diving...

Committed (dir. Rachel Handler & Crystal Arnette)
When Calvin announces that he's proposing to Leesa...and then they're moving to the suburbs, Rebecca enlists Dennis's help to sabotage the proposal and keep their friends around for good.

The Complicated Dance to the Wheel of Life (dir. Arjanmar Rebeta)
Based on the true story: Michael, a PWD (Person With Disability), is losing hope. For him, life is already a mess. Dreams are not meant for him. But, while he is rolling his wheelchair, he will encounter people who will change his view on life. He will eventually learn how to do the complicated dance to the wheel of life.

Dance to the Music in Your Heart (dir. Qiying Lin)

Gestures (dir. Alberto Goldim & Júlia Cazarré)
Anna works at a bookstore. Lucas is suddenly very interested in books. A romantic comedy in which Chaplin meets the Nouvelle Vague. Learn more.

Getting Started (dir. Andrea Meyerson)
After meeting online, Tori and Joy finally have their first date. Chemistry ensues immediately, but will their mutual attraction be enough to overcome some of the challenges presented? Learn more.

The Fish and I (dir. Babak Habibifar)
A blind man tries to save the life of his goldfish.

Fisso (dir. Raito Low Jing Yi)
break up to make up. Learn more.

Have No Fear (Non Temere) (dir. Marco Calvise)
Joseph, with Alzheimer's disease, is a patient hospitalized in a clinic. This is the story of a typical day, his routine, his reality lived in the same way, of all those things, perceived always as if is the first time.

Heart Eyes (dir. Michea Bryant)
A high school student with Down syndrome pursues her crush in hopes of securing a date for the Valentines Day Dance. In the process, she teaches everyone around her a valuable lesson about love and forgiveness.

Human (dir. Issam Taachit)
The movie tells the story of a Trisomic child , He goes to the stadium and when he enters , he finds a group of healthy normal children playing football .he wanted to play with them. One of those children refuses to let the child Trisomic play with them , and he dares to push him into the grass and call him with the word "Mongol". The sick child was quite sad so he while he was lying on the grass, he starts imagining a story , he pictures himself in a world full of Trisomic successful kids and when he wakes up from his fantasy he finds that those children that were playing the football game came to apologize to him on behalf of their friend and they invite him to play with them in a joyful game. Learn more.

Junkyard (dir. Karima Guennouni)
Sarah works in a garage at the local junkyard to save up enough money to continue her studies. She spends her spare time fixing an old Renault 4 so that she can take her autistic brother, Adam, to the beach for the first time. After her stepfather steals her pay, she plots her revenge to get her money back and finally fulfill her brother’s dream. Learn more.

One Fine Day (dir. VIBIN M.R)
It started as a regular day. A young rag picker was running his usual garbage route when he finds something unexpected. It was a treasure chest that changed the lives of this young boy and his sister in beautiful ways that, from a regular day, it became one fine day.

Perfection (Riccardo Di Gerlando)
A young girl tries to draw a very difficult work.

Sacred Hair (dir. Mario Morin)
A fortuitous life changing encounter between a young ill boy and a Muslim woman in a Montreal park.

Sense (dir. Ali Demirtaş)
Sense is a short film about psychological and sosiological state of mind of a young man, who has a lack of sense of hearing, during the process of creating a literature magazine with one of his friends. He can only communicate with his friend through the sign language. They meet up almost every day to work on this magazine. Within this period with some events, these two friend’s conversations will change and also these will effect young man’s life about the dilemmas he is facing. This impact will be effective on his character that is developed through his lack of sense of hearing and also on his feelings towards his friend. Learn more.

Silent (dir. Shawn Ryan)
A high school girl's stuttering sparks bullying from the mean girls at her school. She finds a true friend and stands up to a bullying parent. 'Silent' was filmed on location at the Young Actors’ Theatre Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains as part of an intensive week long film camp. In 2017, top industry filmmakers from New York and Los Angeles mentored young filmmakers and actors to create 11 short films in 7 days.

Stab- Life as a Vooodoo Doll (dir. Jeanette Castillo)
An animated (comic) medical memoir, dedicated to all who live with invisible chronic illness/disability. Learn more.

The Visit (dir. Ali Mehrabi)
Stranded in everyday life, after years of blindness, the calm-natured Arash who has been a phone consultant establishes a friendship with one of his callers which has turned into a romantic one. Perceiving the world through his smell, taste, touch and hearing senses, he keeps analyzing things, events and people based upon those abilities. The well=educated Arash finds himself trapped in the dilemma of telling the truth about his lacking sight to her beloved caller, even gets cold-feet at moments, eventually makes up his mind. This short film full of unexpected tiny intriguing turning points will finally untie every twist by putting the climax in the very last plan.

Wheels of Fortune (dir. Sannah Maclean)
Some people are lucky enough to just roll through life; for Oscar, the term means something else. Wheels Of Fortune is a teen drama about Oscar who's passion for roller skating is prevented by a life bound to his wheelchair. Oscar wishes for a life of solitude but with the bring a date and skate dance coming up things are far from smooth sailings. After being rejected by dancing queen Laurie Phillips, Derek and his crew have dedicated their lives to making Oscar's miserable but best friend and fellow social out cast Francis might just have to convince him to get off his butt and prove to himself what this underdog is really capable of. Learn more.

White Cane (dir. Laith Sami)
Vanessa is a passionate, talented dancer. She is also blind. Is there a place for her in the competitive world of dance? Vanessa meets Danielle, who yearns to dance but struggles to translate her passion into movement. Can Vanessa share her rare gift of expression to help Danielle? As Vanessa's unsighted world expands to reach Danielle, trust forms. Vanessa finds her world enriched in a way she never expected, through the bonds of friendship. Learn more.


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