Tag Archives: Superfest

Superfest 2017 Was Our Best Yet

Superfest was a blast this year, thanks to the participation and support of our community. What a beautiful weekend! All of our film screenings sold out and everyone seems to agree: it was the best Superfest yet.

LightHouse Director of Communications Will Butler speaks with Superfest attendees.
LightHouse Director of Communications Will Butler speaks with Superfest attendees.
Sonja Ohldag laughs with friends and holds her guide dog Chief, who was the focus of a short documentary shown on Saturday.
Sonja Ohldag laughs with friends and holds her guide dog Chief, who was the focus of a short documentary shown on Saturday.

At Superfest 2017, more people with disabilities told their stories through film than ever before. Nine of our filmmakers came to participate in panels, and we screened films shot and produced in Myanmar, Colombia, Germany, Vietnam, Australia, Japan, Canada, Italy and the United States. It was a unique experience to welcome these storytellers into our local community in conversations that deepened the global understanding around disability and its portrayal in film.

Two women, one standing and one in a wheelchair, laugh and talk at Sunday Superfest screening.
Two women, one standing and one in a wheelchair, laugh and talk at Sunday Superfest screening.

But there’s more! Chief, the protagonist of his short eponymous documentary, has a message for you: now you can celebrate Superfest International Disability Film Festival year round — as a Superfest Showcase host. Contact us to find out how you can support and host screenings in your city, thanks to a generous grant from the Neda Nobari Foundation.

Interested in sponsoring Superfest next year? Check out our Sponsorship packages and help support cutting-edge disability film for years to come.

Thank you to this year’s sponsors and foundation support!

Sponsors

Image: Images of sponsor logos including the following: Shauna Farabaugh, Kawakami Barron and Lam LLP, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Telecare Corporation, jetBlue, Gatepath, Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Foundation Support

Image: Logos of foundation support including: George Lucas Family Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Golden Gate Regional Foundation.

Five Reasons to Look Forward to Superfest this Weekend

Get ready for the 31st year of Superfest International Disability Film Festival this weekend on November 4 and 5 in San Francisco and Berkeley. We’re thrilled to have such a spectacular and diverse lineup, co-produced with our friends at the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University.

November 4, 2017, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.

The Magnes Collection of Art and Life, Berkeley

Buy tickets to Saturday’s Superfest showings.

November 5, 2017, 1 p.m.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

Buy tickets to Sunday’s Superfest showing​.

 


Why are we excited for Superfest this year?

 

1) This will be our 31st year!  

Superfest first debuted in a small showcase located in Los Angeles and is now co-hosted by San Francisco’s Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University. We are proud to be the longest running disability-related film festival in the world.

2) Leaders from local disability organizations will introduce each film!

Not only does Superfest have a great selection of films, but it is also a chance to learn more about leaders and organizations making a positive difference in the Bay Area.

3) This year we received over 160 submissions, a new record in both numbers and geographic diversity.

Learn why Deej received our Best of Festival – Feature award, a refreshing look at autism told with the autistic person and documentary subject getting the final word.

While we cannot feature each and every film, the 15 selected films have been shot and filmed in nine countries and represent an important array of issues and perspectives. There will also be nine filmmakers, a festival record, joining us from all over the world to preview their work.

4) Free access tours at The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Arrive early on Sunday for described and ASL interpreted tours of the museum!

5) Superfest is as accessible as it gets!

Access is always a process, but we are proud that Superfest models what access can look like for film festivals internationally. We provide open captioning, audio description, integrated seating for wheelchair riders, a scent-free zone, ASL interpreting, and more.

Our decision to use open audio description has been core to our festival. At the same time, we understand that it creates a barrier for some festival goers. Thanks to our community’s support, this year we are introducing a second screening room on Saturday to provide another form of access. Since space is limited and available on a first come first serve basis, please contact Emily Beitiks to reserve a spot at beitiks@sfsu.edu. Read more about audio description on the Longmore Institute’s blog.

To buy your tickets today, check out www.superfestfilm.com.

Giving Voice: Michele Spitz supports LightHouse, extraordinary filmmakers, burgeoning artists and Superfest 2016

Professional voiceover artist and lifelong patron of the arts Michele Spitz is dedicated to making the world more accessible to people with disabilities by providing her vocal talents to filmmakers, publishers, speaking venues and charitable organizations. Wherever Michele’s voice is, her heart is also: short and full length documentaries, feature films, children’s programming, museums, industrial videos, audio manuals and PSAs.

Michele is most passionate about her audio description work for the visually impaired — having voiced 37 films including documentary features. In addition to Michele’s audio description work, she also personally underwrites hundreds of patron attendance tickets, as well as artist interactive programs for the performing, visual and cultural arts world. This underwriting program serves: disabled, seniors, veterans and underserved communities.

Michele has also provided her voice for our Superfest International Disability Film Festival, as well as for our headquarters — hers is the voice you hear on our phone system’s recorded greeting!

In light of her unyielding support of LightHouse programs and the growing relevance of audio description as a force in media, Michele sat down with LightHouse’s Paul Blaney to discuss her passion for art and her unwavering support for those with disabilities.

LightHouse: Why is supporting artists with disabilities important to you?

Michele: Art is healing; we can all identify something in art that resonates within us. However, for the blind community, access to visual art can be challenging. It is my hope to ensure that visual art is appealing and accessible to everyone.

LightHouse: What drew you to LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired?

Michele: LightHouse for the Blind is leading the way for those with blindness or low vision and supports the quest to identify and build community. Through trailblazing programs, resources, guides and activities geared specifically for blind people, LightHouse reinforces the need for accessible and meaningful support.

LightHouse: What important message would you like to convey to those unfamiliar with artists with disabilities?

Michele: Living with a disability should not prevent one from accessing and appreciating art. It is my hope (through audio description and underwriting performing arts programming) to expand awareness of the blind community, so everyone can deepen their enjoyment of art.

LightHouse: How do you select your audio description projects?

Michele: I often ask myself: ‘What haven’t I covered? What can I do next to support people living with disabilities?’ I want to be involved with projects that raise awareness and connect people to their community. Often, it’s lack of exposure that prohibits people from understanding the nuances of the art world. It’s my job to break stereotypes and give people ample opportunities to explore for themselves the interplay between art and humanity.

LightHouse: What are your future plans for working with the disability community?

Michele: I will continue to pursue partnerships with artists who push the envelope in developing projects with and for the disability community. My goal is to forge long-lasting relationships reflective of my passion for the arts, my desire to heighten awareness and, in doing so, attract more people to the cause.

LightHouse: Thank you for chatting with us Michele!

You may read more about Michele’s work at womanofherword.com.

Michele Spitz "Woman of Her Word" Logo

 

Tickets on Sale Now for Superfest: International Disability Film Festival!

Photo: Image from the film “Awake”.

Together with the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is pleased to announce that tickets are now available for this year’s Superfest: International Disability Film Festival, our 30th anniversary!

Day 1: Saturday, October 22 at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley
Screenings: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
30th Anniversary Celebration 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Come celebrate Superfest International Film Festival’s 30th with an anniversary party, in between screenings.
Tickets to Saturday’s party and screenings are available here.

Day 2: Sunday, October 23 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
Screenings: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Tickets for Sunday’s screenings are available here.

Our panel of judges – made up of film aficionados, disability studies scholars and disability community organizers, all people with disabilities – had a difficult task selecting these films from a total of 119 submissions from 18 countries. The selected films bring to the screen a variety of topics and disabilities, each helping move forward Superfest’s mission to celebrate cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability culture in all its diverse, complex, and engaging facets.

Buy tickets at superfestfilm.com.

 

 

 

 

What’s the Worst Disabled Character in Film? This Year, the Dissies are Back

It’s no secret: When it comes  to representations of disability, Hollywood has its foibles. From characters who flounder, flinch, flake, or fully mis-represent a whole population of persons with disabilities, we are used to seeing films that are less than accurate. That’s one of the reasons the LightHouse is proud to present Superfest: International Disability Film Festival, now in its thirtieth year, to promote the films that make you think differently about people who are different.

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Dissies poster mimicking Academy Awards, from Superfest 2013The Dissies” was originally started at Superfest 2013 as our answer to the disabled film characters who, frankly, sucked – the biggest stinkers, if you will. This year, we’re bringing it back with a whole fresh bunch of bad ones, and we want you to vote. For the full info and ballot, head over to the Longmore Institute, who are hosting the voting process.

 

Ticket Giveaway to SF DocFest’s Off the Rails – Co-presented by Superfest International Disability Film Festival

Superfest International Disability Film Festival announces a partnership with SF DocFest to co-present OFF THE RAILS, a film by Adam Irving. New York’s infamous transit thief, 50-year-old Darius McCollum, has been impersonating transit staff and stealing trains and buses for over 35 years. He has been arrested no less than 30 times and has spent much of his life behind bars. The subway was his sanctuary as a child and he soon had memorized every train’s schedule and stops. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, depression, and anxiety stemming from a childhood school attack, the courts have never understood his obsession with transit.

In honor of Superfest’s 30th Anniversary we are giving away two tickets to the DocFest screening of Off the Rails at the Roxie Theater to the 30th person to send an email to jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org with the subject line “Off The Rails”.

Screenings:

Sunday, June 12: 4:30 p.m. at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street in San Francisco

Tuesday, June 14: 9:00 p.m. at the Vogue Theater, 3290 Sacramento Street in San Francisco

Superfest, the world’s longest running disability film festival, celebrates disability as a creative force in cinema and culture. We feature films with fresh ideas and images that inspire thought and meaningful conversation. Superfest is coordinated in partnership by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Recent Grant Awards to Superfest, Disability Communications Fund

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) logoJust in time for Superfest International Disability Film Festival’s 30th Anniversary, the National Endowment for the Arts is making its first-ever prestigious grant to LightHouse-sponsored SuperFest, supporting the 2016 festival with a $10,000 grant. We are excited to announce that this will enable us to give cash awards to the “Best of Festival” award winning filmmakers and expand the festivals reach and impact. Save the date: for Superfest will be held on October 22 and 23rd 2016. (NEA logo attached).

A grant from the Disability Communications Fund will enable LightHouse to expand our tech training opportunities when we open our new headquarters in May. “Anytime Tech” will be one-on-one tech training available in the evenings and weekends as well as during the day. Interpreters can be provided in most languages if required.

Last Call for Submissions: Superfest 2015

Filmmaker John Schaffer and Laura Nagle receive the Superfest 2014 Excellence Award for Vectors of Autism: A Documentary about Laura NagleDon’t miss the chance to submit your film. Film submissions are being accepted through March 15th, 2015.

This year we are accepting submissions for short (under 45 minutes) and full length films in all categories, including fiction, animation, documentary and children’s films. Please visit the Superfest website, and see our submission guidelines for more details. Don’t forget to spread the word.

The LightHouse is proud that every film shown at Superfest is fully audio described for all attendees, one of the key accomplishments in involving the blind in the wider disability film festival.

About Superfest
Superfest International Disability Film Festival is a showcase of juried films held in the San Francisco Bay Area. This annual competition celebrates cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability culture in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets, and is the longest running festival of its kind in the world.

Started in the 1970’s, Superfest is currently coordinated by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and LightHouse for the Blind. This November, 14 and 15, the Bay Area will come alive with the visions of film and media makers exploring the rich diversity of disability culture. Stay tuned for upcoming events and announcements! www.superfestfilm.com.

 

Call for Submissions: Superfest 2015

Filmakers – the news you’ve been waiting to hear. The 2015 Superfest International Disability Film Festival will take place November 14th and 15th in San Francisco.

Film submissions will be accepted January 12, 2015 through March 15th, 2015.

This year we are accepting submissions for short (under 45 minutes) and full length films in all categories, including fiction, animation, documentary and children’s films. Please visit the Superfest website, and see our submission guidelines for more details. Early bird discount is available for films submitted before February 15th. Don’t forget to spread the word.

About Superfest
Superfest International Disability Film Festival is a showcase of juried films held in the San Francisco Bay Area. This annual competition celebrates cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability culture in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets, and is the longest running festival of its kind in the world.

Started in the 1970’s, Superfest is currently coordinated by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and LightHouse for the Blind. The Lighthouse is proud that every film shown at every Superfest is fully audio described for all attendees, one of the key accomplishments in involving the blind in the wider disability film festival.

This November, the Bay Area will once again come alive with the visions of film and media makers exploring the rich diversity of disability culture. Stay tuned for upcoming events and announcements! www.superfestfilm.com.

Call for Film Submissions: Superfest 2015

Filmakers – the news you’ve been waiting to hear. The 2015 Superfest International Disability Film Festival will take place November 14th and 15th in San Francisco.

Film submissions will be accepted January 12, 2015 through March 15, 2015.

This year we are accepting submissions for short (under 45 minutes) and full length films in all categories, including fiction, animation, documentary and children’s films. Please visit the Superfest website, and see our submission guidelines for more details. Don’t forget to spread the word.

About Superfest
Superfest International Disability Film Festival is a showcase of juried films held in the San Francisco Bay Area. This annual competition celebrates cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability culture in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets, and is the longest running festival of its kind in the world.

Started in the 1970’s, Superfest is currently coordinated by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and LightHouse for the Blind. The Lighthouse is proud that every film shown at every Superfest is fully audio described for all attendees, one of the key accomplishments in involving the blind in the wider disability film festival.

This November 14 and 15 the Bay Area will once again come alive with the visions of film and media makers exploring the rich diversity of disability culture. Stay tuned for upcoming events and announcements! www.superfestfilm.com.