Selected & Winning shorts

In 2023, we are focusing exclusively on short films! We'll screen both winners and selected shorts from our international Short Film Competition, plus locally made shorts celebrating the lives and achievements of Austinites with disabilities.

Please note that some of our films include adult topics, parental discretion is advised.

Friday, Oct. 20

Anniversary Screening

Team Everest 03
Dir. Andy Cockrum, United States
A short version of a feature-length documentary, Team Everest '03 chronicles a remarkable group of trekkers on an expedition to the world's highest mountain. If they succeed in their quest, the team will be the largest group of people with disabilities ever to reach Mount Everest Base Camp. CTD organized the Team Everest expedition, which is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!

Video Tribute to Gene Rodgers

Dir. Dave Dauber, United States
A send off to a long time disability advocate and CTD member; Team Everest member, world traveller, and Argonaut; writer; and our friend, Gene Rodgers.

Selected shorts from the 2023 Short Film Competition

Deaf Capo
star Leo Bopp in attendance!
Dir. Aaron Rochlen, United States
Deaf Capo shares the inspiring story of Leo Bopp, a Capo (leader) for the most passionate fans in the supporters section of Austin FC games, a professional soccer club in Austin, Texas.

Doc West Moves
Dir. Federico Muchnik, United States
Cambridge, MA resident Lewis "Doc" West is moving out of his apartment and into a new place across town. He's blind, Black, and a blues musician. He lives with the power of Jesus, with faith that the Lord will provide and see him through life's challenges.

Winners of the 2023 Short Film Competition Non-Documentary Division

3 movie poster. Close up of a man's face with a breathing mask; an interabled cartoon couple walks into the sunset; a worried woman sitting at a table.

First Place + Audience Favorite: Take Me Home
Dir. Liz Sargent, United States
After their mother’s death, a cognitively disabled woman and her estranged sister must learn to communicate in order to move forward. Pictured above right. Learn more about the film at and on Instagram @take_me_home_film.

Second Place: Culicidae
Dir. Greg Moran, Australia
A late night intrusion leads to a life and death struggle. Pictured above left. Learn more about the film at

Third Place: Smash or Pass
Dir. Cory Reeder, United States
Dating pool or cesspool? They both Stink! After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend, Ariel tries app dating for the very first time. Pictured above center.

Saturday, Oct. 21

Video Tribute to Susie Angel

Dir. Dave Dauber, United States
Last summer, the CTD family said goodbye to our colleague and friend, Gloria Susan Angel (Susie). It’s difficult to summarize Susie’s impact on CTD and the Austin disability advocacy community (to say nothing of the many other communities she was a part of), but here's a start.

Selected shorts from the 2023 Short Film Competition

As You Are
Dir. Daisy Friedman, United States
When an interabled queer couple spends the night together for the first time, they must confront their complex relationships with desire, sexuality, bodily autonomy, and what it means truly to love another person.

In Our Lifetime: The UK Citizens' Jury on Human Genome Editing
Dir. Mark Downes & Anna Middleton, United Kingdom
How far is too far when it comes to altering the human genome? Who gets to decide what is acceptable and what is not? And what of the lived experience for those with genetic conditions? The film ‘In Our Lifetime’ seeks to explore these complex themes by documenting the UK Citizens' Jury on Genome Editing, a week-long gathering of 21 people with personal experience of genetic disease to learn, discuss, and ultimately craft policy recommendations.

Dir. Anne Isensee, Germany
Enervated by the visual clutter and bumbling incompetence of this animated film, the narrator of the audio description falls out of her role and retreats into the inner world of her head. There, she rummages acoustically in forgotten memories and repressed feelings and tries out various ways to let the audience participate in her inner life.

Last Seen: Katie Kelly
Dir. Nico Meissner, Australia
Katie Kelly was declared legally blind in January 2015. 18 months later, at the age of 40, she made her Paralympics debut in Rio de Janeiro, winning Australia’s first gold medal in the sport of Para-triathlon. Last Seen: Katie Kelly is an animated short documentary that traces Katie’s remarkable journey in Tracie Eaton’s painting of Merewether Baths, Katie’s most cherished visual memory.

The Rad Scientist
Dir. Paul Sprangers, United Sates
It's New Year's Eve, 1987, and a quantum research scientist has finally gotten her secret portal mechanism to work... with a few rad quirks.

Winners of the 2023 Short Film Competition Documentary Division

3 movie posters: An old man gazes into the distance; a woman with thick glasses holds a fencing sword up in front of her face; an old man closes his deep set eyes.

First Place + Audience Favorite: Carpenter
Dir. Xelîl Sehragerd, Islamic Republic of Iran
An old Kurdish man (Hussein Mahmood) who is a carpenter tries to make artificial legs for people who have lost their legs. Pictured above left. Follow Director Xelil Sehragern on Instagram @khalil.sahragard.

Second Place: Elsa
Dir. Cameron S. Mitchell, United States
Elsa Sjunneson is a DeafBlind professor and media critic, skilled fencer and hiker, and published author who has written for Marvel Comics and won the Hugo award for Science Fiction twice. Through the pen and the sword, Elsa takes us on a journey to see the world through a perspective that’s hardly, if ever, been seen before. Pitcured above center. Learn more about the film at and on Facebook /elsathedocumentary.

Third Place: I Won't Remain Alone
Dir. Yaser Talebi, Islamic Republic of Iran
Seyed Jalal, a blind 86 years old man, and his wife Bibi Soraya, 80 years old with chronic nerve disease, live in poverty conditions. They got devastating news about their son's brain death. The old fragile blind father has to make a decision whether to donate his son’s healthy parts to help 16 other patients. Pictured above right. Follow Director Yaser Talebi on Instagram @yasertalebi.


The 2023 film lineup:

Selected & Winning shorts

Submit to the Film Festival

Click to submit with FilmFreeway

The 2024 Short Film Competition is open.

Extended registration ($60) closes May 3, and late registration ($80) begins.

The final deadline is June 7.

Film Fest Newsletter

Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up to date with the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival & Short Film Competition.

Subscribe to CTDFF News

Current issue: Thank you, William Greer!