If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the impact of a short film. Not just any short film, but a collection of powerful narratives created by and about people with disabilities. This year, The Arc Pikes Peak Region’s (The Arc PPR) fourth annual Achieve with Us Colorado Film Festival will celebrate everyday heroes: those women, men and youth making strides to achieve a better life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community and abroad. The films range from animated shorts to live action films, each reflecting the diverse abilities of individuals with disabilities.
“Each year we hope to have a more thoughtful, funnier, touching and exciting selection of films. 2016 is no exception, with seven films that will leave you unhappy about having to wait an entire year for our next film festival,” says Craig Severa, film curator and judicial advocate.
This year’s roster includes four insightful American films. The longest is Think Normal, the story of Jason McElwain who first received national recognition on CBS Sports 2009 Final Four Pregame Show as The Magic of J-Mac for his achievements on the basketball court. Since then, he has inspired people around the world.
Achieve with Us Colorado Film Festival
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Three separate showings: 1:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Stargazers Theatre and Event Center
The event is free and open to the public and is part of a continuing movement to provide information and education to the general public about the abilities of people living with disabilities.
The shortest entry is a two-minute film from Brazil. Set to the music of Radiohead, the video makes a profound statement while piercing your heart with great joy. “It’s a perfect film,” Severa says.
“My personal favorite is entitled Wayne,” Severa says. “It’s a film from New Zealand about a man with limited communication skills who learns the harsh reality of love and romance.
“These films will change your perception of what you may think you know about people and disability, while creating a dialog regarding what disability is and what people with developmental disabilities can achieve.”
The Arc PPR’s annual film festival has gained momentum in recent years and is growing in popularity. Last year, the event boasted over 250 attendees, with hopes for even greater participation this year.