2019 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 18-19, 2019
Alamo Drafthouse Village

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

Documentary Division

First Place FOOTSTEP (dir. Haydar Demirtas)
Hosyar Ali has been voluntarily cleaning mines that are spread all across the Iran – Iraq borderline for 28 years. We follow his footsteps in his home, in the borderline, and in the graves of his son, his brother, and his legs. Learn more about FOOTSTEP (website is in Turkish)

Second Place + Audience Favorite ANDRE THE ANTI-GIANT (dir. Kim Saltarski)
A 3-foot-something actor/comedian/disability advocate strives to retake the stage following a life-endangering diagnosis. Learn more about ANDRE THE ANTI-GIANT

Third Place DEAR DOCTOR (presented by Nothing Down)
At Nothing Down, we often hear of the heartbreaking ways in which many families receive their child's Down syndrome diagnosis. It is our goal to change the narrative and to influence the medical community to ensure that EVERY parent is delivered their child's Down syndrome diagnosis with compassion, up-to-date education, proper resources, and hope. We believe that this film has the strong potential to ignite a much needed change that will benefit all future parents receiving an unexpected diagnosis. Learn more about DEAR DOCTOR

Finalist SCARS (dir. Meredith Koch)
Weightlifting enthusiast Janet Chang inspires body positivity, despite her cerebral palsy diagnosis. View SCARS trailer

Non-documentary Division Finalists

First Place YOUNG ADULT (dir. Jake Yuzna)
On the last day of a summer camp, a teenage girl, Annie, fights to connect with the boy who might be her first love. Not accepting preconceived notions of who she is, Annie refuses these roles and battles against these invisible forces that shape our lives. Learn more about YOUNG ADULT

Second Place (tie) I/O (dir. Carl Hansen)
A man struggles to reveal to his girlfriend that he's been dating her through his robot. Learn more about I/O

Second Place (tie) NO EASY TARGET (dir. Orion James Couling)
NO EASY TARGET is a STAR WARS Fan Film featuring actors with Down Syndrome alongside their peers. The diversity in the film reveals a galaxy rejected society. Let your expectations be blown away as the Jedi show the universe how capable they really are by being resilient, strong, and fighting to bridge the social gap. In this revolution of inclusion, you too can witness the first time a STAR WARS fan film features main action characters with actors who have Down Syndrome. Learn more about NO EASY TARGET

Second Place (tie) + Audience Favorite SWEPT AWAY (dir. Thomas Grascoeur)
Paris. She’s English, he’s French. A rendezvous in a tea room. But there’s more to the story.

Third Place (tie) INCLINATIONS (dir. Danielle Peers & Alice Sheppard)
Choreographed, directed and shot from disability perspectives, this dance-on-video short contrasts the playful connections when disability aesthetics, community, and a ramp meet the institutional histories and discordant inclinations that can lurk just below the surface.

Third Place (tie) LOUDER THAN WORDS (dir. Rachel Larkin)
Amy Clearwell is eleven years old and all she wants is to be the drummer in her school concert band. However, when both her concert band conductor and her father block her from being involved in the band, Amy begins to want something more. She wants them to realise that she can be both talented, and Deaf. Follow LOUDER THAN WORDS

Finalist GASLIT (dir. Naomi Chainey)
A young disabled woman fights to hold on to her identity in the face of the world’s assumptions, and strives for independence from her parents, who doubt her ability to become a mother. Learn more about GASLIT

Finalist HUMAN RESOURCES (dir. Roy Berkeley)
A dying young woman interviews for a job at a nightmarish call center.

Finalist KEEP SHINING (dir. Lisa Sniderman)
Music video for "Keep Shining." View KEEP SHINING

Finalist LOBSTER (dir. Alison Myers)
OK, so Cam's hungover, lost, vomit-stained, dealing with a very rude visitor, and totally in the dark. On the other hand, er, claw, she has an advantage that many Aussies can only dream about. Follow LOBSTER

Finalist THE WAGON (dir. Gayle Knutson)
Hard-edged Aunt Frances and Claire, her niece with Down syndrome, are two vagabond women confronting life’s harsh realities. While Claire pursues her seemingly simple dreams, Frances discovers that their challenging lifestyle on a rundown riverboat is about to be further tested. Features Jamie Brewer (AMERICAN HORROR STORY), Bruce Bohne (FARGO), and Jen Blagen (DRAGONFLY). Learn more about THE WAGON

Finalist TRAGICALLY DEAF (dir. Maxx Corkindale)
Paul is having a great day. He has a loving family, a good job, and enjoys life to the fullest. It’s a pity that the documentary crew following him doesn’t seem to see that…

Finalist UNSPOKEN SPOKEN (dir. fin walker, Ross McGibbon, Ben Park-Composer)
Breaking down the rules that restrict us—those that lie within—those that lie without...


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