Sundance Film Festival Disabilities

If, like me, you’re obsessed with movies, you’ve had your eyes peeled on the annual Sundance Film Festival (through Jan. 29), the first being held in person since COVID. I was especially happy to come across this guide to Disability-Inclusive Sundance Films from Respect Ability.

The organization writes that with “one-in-five people having a disability in the U.S. today, the lack of representation – just 2.3 percent of characters in the 100 top-grossing films of 2019 and 8 percent in family films – means that millions of people are unable to see themselves reflected in media.”

The work includes the short Take Me Home, which makes its world premiere at the festival. It’s from writer/director Liz Sargent, a Korean American who explores themes of adoption, disability and family. It stars her sister, who was born at 2 pounds with a cyst on her brain leaving her with little short-term memory and various degrees of cognitive and physical disabilities.” Read more about it here.

Another standout is STILL: A Michael. J. Fox Movie, a documentary about the actor’s life and living with Parkinson’s disease. It’s “about owning your narrative, which often is difficult for disabled individuals to do,” writes Respect Ability. “Even when the most successful people acquire a disability, society is quick to judge and make assumptions that they are now less than.”

Here’s a terrific interview Fox had at Sundance with the film’s director, Davis Guggenheim, and editor Michael Harte.


Featured image photo credit: Flickr by Photographing Travis

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