CTDFF: Disability Film at SXSW 2019

April 29, 2019

Jennifer Bracy
Development Specialist & CTDFF staff

It's been a busy spring for CTDFF, and SXSW was a whirlwind of a week! We noted an increase in disability-related feature films and terrific audience turn out for these screenings. It is so incredible to see and hear audiences' reactions to these films and express the need for more. After speaking with a few cast members and directors, it is apparent that disability and inclusion are at the forefront of equal representation on the silver screen.

My reviews of what I saw:

COME AS YOU ARE - 5/5 stars

Based on the real life of Asta Philpot, COME AS YOU ARE tells the story of three young men with different disabilities who flee their overbearing parents for a road trip to a Canadian brothel that caters to people with disabilities. This film gets disability representation right, with writing that's spot on, comedic, and very true to life. Read our full review

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON - 4.5/5 stars

It all begins when Zack, a young man with Down Syndrome, escapes the nursing home where he lives to chase his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Points for casting actors who have their characters' disability and characters with disabilities portrayed as complex. Read our full review

ERNIE & JOE - 3/5 stars

ERNIE & JOE is an immersive look at the issues involved when the worlds of people in a mental health crisis and law enforcement intersect. Great to see the work going on at San Antonio PD's Mental Health Unit, but I would have liked more about the people Ernie and Joe help. Read our full review

ANY ONE OF US - 1/5 star

When professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia sustains a devastating spinal cord injury, his life is changed in an instant. Discovering that he is paralyzed, Paul begins a grueling battle against his own body and mind, in the hope of one day being able to walk again. I had high hopes, but ultimately, major disappointment in this documentary. Read our full review

VISION PORTRAITS - 5/5 stars

VISION PORTRAITS is the personal story of filmmaker Rodney Evans as he embarks on a scientific and artistic journey, questioning how his loss of vision might impact his creative future. Visually stunning, a true work of art! Read our full review

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