According to the Indiana Disability Awareness Month website, the theme for this year is “Dream to Dare,” which aims to inspire and encourage people to rethink the community around them.
In recognition of Disability Awareness Month, IU Cinema teamed up with Stone Belt Arc and the Sprout Film Festival for the Sprout Shorts Program, a short film program relating to the field of developmental disabilities.
The free event will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at IU Cinema.
Stone Belt’s Director of Development Lori Garraghty worked with IU Cinema for the formation of the program and watched all of the selected films.
“The general purpose that the Sprout organization intends with this festival is to show collections of films that are produced (by), directed (by) and stars individuals with disabilities,” Garraghty said. “People with developmental disabilities as subjects and performers remain marginalized and are never explored much in the media. Some of the films displayed are dramatic, while others are comedic.”
Eight documentaries, which come from Australia, Spain, Poland, the U.K. and the U.S., will be screened as part of the program.
The films include “Against the Fence — The Riley Campbell Story,” “3:15 to Brunswick,” “Dancing with Downs,” “The Ups of Downs” and “Recycling of Souls.”
Garraghty said some of the films brought tears to her eyes and some made her laugh out loud.
She wanted a variety of films to pertain to everyone’s interests.
“Recycling of Souls” explores the topic of employment opportunities for those with disabilities, a topic Garraghty wanted to bring exposure to.
“I want the public to be aware on important issues such as employment for disabled citizens, since they want to work and find their certain interest through workshops,” Garraghty said.
“Stone Belt is always looking for employment opportunities for clients, since not many IU students are aware that a lot of those clients work all over the IU Campus.”
The Sprout Film Festival’s main goal of this event is to present films that display artistry and intellect, and in turn reinforce an accurate portrayal of people with developmental disabilities.
In addition, Garraghty said, Stone Belt aims to get its name out so it can continue its goal around the Bloomington area of breaking down the stereotypes and promoting diversity in the general population.
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