The film festival wants to break stereotypes about disability

PORT ANGELES – The All IN Film Fest will feature films and discussions, both virtually and in person, about people with disabilities Monday through Saturday.

The film festival is a collaborative project between Magic of Cinema at Peninsula College, Studium Generale, House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse and Clallam Mosaic. It addresses the low employment rate of people with disabilities as well as other issues.

The majority of films were purchased from Sproutflix, a distributor that houses the largest and most diverse international collection of films made by and featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Sharing these stories is “a long time ago,” said Bonnie Smith, chair of the board of directors of Clallam Mosaic.

“These films are wonderful stories of friends, neighbors and family members… Cinema is an art and creativity enables people to see and hear a story, to seek out what is shared with a character.” , she said.

Through the words of people with DID and their families, the film collection seeks to challenge myths and stereotypes surrounding disability, employment, creativity and learning.

Movies are 5 to 32 minutes long.

The All IN Film Festival begins free streaming with one film nightly at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with further events scheduled Thursday through Saturday.

Links to the Zoom sessions are available at pencol.edu/events/magic-cinema-all-film-festival-clallam-mosaic.

For in-person screenings, participants must bring their own blankets or outdoor chairs. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy during the films. Plan to realize what is brought.

COVID-19 security protocols will be in place, which will include three-foot social distancing and masking when traveling in shared spaces. As required by the state mandate, students at Peninsula College must be vaccinated to attend campus events.

Washroom access will be provided and an easy login process will be required.

Festival programming

Monday – 7pm, “Cassilly: How I Got to College” currently via Zoom. It is the story of a young woman who overcame many obstacles to attend and succeed in community college.

Tuesday – 7pm, “A question” will be displayed via Zoom. The production crew for this film included eight people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The five-day film features 35 people with IDD who answer the same question: if you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

Wednesday – 7 pm, a Zoom screening of “Cassilly: How I Got to College”.

Thursday – 12:30 p.m. Peninsula College will host a special Studium Generale to celebrate October as National Disability Employment Month.

The virtual event will begin with the screening of “The Interviewer”, an Australian film which has been used for training on corporate equity and diversity.

“There’s the idea that individuals with IDD aren’t able to learn beyond the jobs they’re relegated to, that an individual with IDD can’t move up through the ranks,” Smith said; this film challenges that perception.

“The Interviewer” will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Catherine McKinney, Program and Communications Director of Clallam Mosaic. Panelists, including self-advocates from the IDD community and their family members, will discuss how the job has affected their lives.

Friday – 6 p.m., screenings and in-person discussions will take place on the lawn behind the Pirate Union Building at Peninsula College.

The evening will begin with the documentary “JMAXX & the Universal Language”.

Viewers are introduced to Jarell, an autistic teenager who uses hip-hop dance as a way to communicate his true self to the world. Viewers learn about Jarell’s difficulties connecting with his peers, his feelings of isolation, and his experience of bullying.

The second film, “Acting Normal,” features a performing arts studio for adults with DID. The studio and its cast are working to change the preconceptions of Hollywood casting agents, directors and producers.

A third film, “Mr. Twister,” shares the art of Brian, an autistic teenager. Through his own form of creativity in making sculptures with twist ties, the boy who was once withdrawn and almost non-verbal has become blossomed into a working artist.

Saturday – 6 p.m., the in-person screenings and discussion will begin with “Bye,” a short documentary that follows Jayden, a 2.5-year-old boy diagnosed with autism during his first months of school in the Bronx, New York.

A second film, “Extra Ordinary”, shares the life of two young people with Down’s syndrome, mainly told through the benevolent, honest and concerned voices of their parents. The film challenges the stigma and stereotypes associated with Down syndrome.

The third film will be a encore screening of “The Interviewer”.

The last film of the All IN Film Fest will be the documentary “What Was It Like?

The Peninsula College campus map is available on the college website (pencol.edu/locations/main-campus/campus-map).

Links to more information, movie trailers and Zoom links are available on the Clallam Mosaic website at clallammosaic.org/all-in-film-fest.

If bad weather is forecast for Friday or Saturday, the outdoor screenings will be moved to Zoom. The decision to move screenings online will be made by Wednesday.

Check the Peninsula College (pencol.edu) and Clallam Mosaic (clallammosaic.org) websites on Thursday for more information.



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