Disability Film Festival kicks off

Alexander Bershtein
Staff Writer

The Disability Film Festival has dates for movies lined up until the end of the fall semester. Though, even if you missed the prior documentaries, there are still ways to access them through other means at Millersville.

Dr. Neuville picked five documentaries: “What Are You Thinking,” “The Collector of Bedford,” “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien,” “Mind I Game” and “Waiting for Superman.”

“I always try to find films that are a little controversial and interesting, and hopefully some guests that are interested,” Neuville said. “If I see they are about people with disabilities, and they have themes that are consistent with marginalization, then I choose it. So, stigma, sexuality because we think people with disabilities are not sexual, or should not be sexual, or can’t be sexual. Segregation, films that might change people’s minds.”

The first documentary shown during this festival of documentary films was “What Are You Thinking?” This is a film about current stigmas towards those with disabilities, and it features an adjunct professor with a disability and their student with a similar disability. And, for those who missed it can access it on LetsThinkAgain.org.

For those who missed the prior duel documentaries Oct. 17, “The Collector of Bedford” and “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien,” are available on the Millersville Library Website under the usage of the Kanopy page. The Collector of Bedford was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

The Collector of Bedford is about a man who lived on Bedford Street in Brooklyn. The point was that a person does not need to have help from formal services to have the good things in life; sometimes the community and neighbors can chip in and make the experience better.

“Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien” has an associated hollywood movie that is called “The Sessions.” Both the documentary and film share the story of Mark O’Brien’s dilemma of being quadriplegic, that is that his limbs are unusable because of a kind of paralysis.

All his friends are beginning to have relationships. And he notices their sexual relationships, and so he gets a sexual therapist. Dr. Neuville analysis on the documentary short is that, “It is about the notion that you have to have a certain body-type to have sex is a bias in society, it is not true.”

Special Event: Mind I Game will be premiering at the Ware Center in Lancaster at 6:15pm on Thursday, November 9th. Dr Neuville said this documentary “Debunks some of the Myths of mental illness.” It is about an NBA star and her experience with mental wellness. The director, Glenn Close, will be at the event.

The Truth about “Waiting for Superman” is premiering on campus in Mccomsey Hall’s Myers Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30. This film is a sort of exception to being about disabilities, but more so with the educational processes that contribute to it.

Dr. Neuville’s reasons for showing this film was to get audience to question its message. As he said this film suggest that the problem with education is with teachers’ unions and tenure and blaming them, but he believes these are not true.

He wants to states the issues are poverty, and how students are not individualized. “An opportunity to look at it with a critical eye with experts,” Neuville said.

Dr. Neuville wanted to acknowledge the efforts of Millersville University’s Provost, Vilas A. Prabhu, for his support in funding the Disability Film and his direct support of the mission to inform students and Lancaster locals.

Deej was accidently not cataloged in the advertisement fliers for the Disability Film Festival this Fall. The advertisement fliers were already in production for printing by the time the event of showing the video were organized. The director of the movie was at the event.

It is about a person growing up with autism, and how he uses a communicator to speak. The movie entails his journey to college. Dr. Neuville is unsure how students can access this particular movie.

Dr. Neuville is already planning for the Disability Film Festival for next Spring with documentary and films such as:

-Defiant Lives on April 16, which is a film on the history of the disability movement across the world

-Beyond Measure on, which goes to show people can be assessed beyond their test scores. Disability students and their experiences in this situation.

-Twice Exceptional, which is about people that are gifted, but also has significant learning disability.

-The Sessions, Dr. Neuville wants to follow up the documentary short Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien with its associated Hollywood movie parallel.

Dr. Neuville is also considering other documentaries and films to show in the Spring 2018 Disability Film Festival