Brianna Hammon, who shared her story in "Restraint and Seclusion"

Were You There? Superfest International Disability Film Festival

Superfest International Disability Film Festival 2014 was a marvelous day highlighting the intersections of disability, art and film. A paramount get together for the Bay Area disability community, over 325 audience members attended the screenings. Over 52 films from around the world were submitted to the festival. We were able to showcase eleven groundbreaking films selected by a panel of disabled judges covering an astounding array of topics dear to our hearts, and those of our patrons. The Interviewer, winner of Best in Festival, earned a resounding ovation, reminding everyone in the room that the most insightful person may just be the least expected. The Mural, a film about a local non-profit, highlighted the incredible creativity that can be unleashed if we give people the chance.

See photos from Superfest on our Facebook page!

Linda Ellerbee once said, “People are pretty much alike. It’s only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.” Krutch, winner of the Disabled Filmmaker Award, raised eyebrows and unapologetically reminded us all that our most basic fabric is of the same thread. The poignant film Everything is Incredible filled viewers with wonder, not because a disabled man was doing something remarkable, but because his Honduran community was intimately affected by this polio survivor’s unwavering ability to dream big. It highlighted what we already know: contrasting from typical Hollywood representations that show disability as a burden, disability can open up doors and enrich all of our lives.

Superfest is a cherished community event with international appeal because it is the first, and to our knowledge, the only film festival administered by people with disabilities. We pride ourselves on the fact that 100-percent of our judges are people with disabilities: physical, cognitive, learning, sensory, or emotional. While Hollywood tries to incorporate people with disabilities (or sometimes actors acting disabled) in their big-budget blockbusters, they are unfortunately prone to getting it wrong, exploiting a small feature of a whole person. People like you get it. You understand that the world is ready for more interesting and honest stories of disability than that of the overly heroic or pathetically pitiful. And hence, the need for Superfest!

The Superfest International Disability Film Festival is coordinated by LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and San Francisco State’s Longmore Institute.

Many thanks to fabulous emcee Nina G. and the filmmakers, judges and audience members who make up our vibrant community.

Very special thanks to our generous sponsors – we couldn’t do it without you!

Superfest Superstar Sponsor
Michele Spitz and Woman of her Word

Venue Sponsor
Contemporary Jewish Museum

Silver Sponsors
Audio Eyes
George Lucas Family Foundation
Golden Gate Regional Foundation
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Big Screen Sponsors

Big Screen Sponsors
ABL Denim
City College of San Francisco, Disabled Students Programs and Services
Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco

Community Sponsors
Autism Social Connection at Community Gatepath
Bay Area Outreach and Recreation
Blind Babies Foundation
Bridges to Communication
California Foundation for Independent Living Centers
CHADD of Northern California
Changing One Mind at a Time
CIL Berkeley
Cinema Studies, SFSU
Creative Growth Art Center
Dept. of Rehabilitation, External Affairs
DeYoung Museum
Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area
Environmental Traveling Companions
Independent Living Resource Center SF
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
Myers Urbatsch P.C.
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Marin
National Institute of Art and Disability
Parents Education Network
People with Disabilities Foundation
Seesaw Friends
Senior and Disability Action
Sins Invalid
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
The Arc (SF)
Young Life Capernaum

One thought on “Were You There? Superfest International Disability Film Festival”

  1. Best movie festival EVER! So accessible, and great movies! My 79 year old mum even loved it! I was in Brianna Hammon’ Entourage (see in red above). The weekend of our lives! Going back next year. For sure!

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