Superfest Disability Film Festival

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Date: October 24, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Detroit Institute of Arts | Map
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Movie
Click the link below to learn more and to register:

For over 30 years, this annual film competition has celebrated cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets. Superfest is proud to be the longest-running disability film festival in the world. What started in 1970 as a small showcase in Los Angeles, has grown into a sold-out international event, a two-day juried festival in San Francisco and Berkeley with filmmakers from all over the world. 

Films are selected by a panel of judges, 100% people with disabilities, who come from a range of backgrounds in film, disability studies, and disability activism. They follow strict guidelines and only advance films that meet Superfest's standards of artistry, representations of disability, and creativity.

Superfest Showcases bring a sampling of the films screened at the previous year’s core festival to new communities and constituents. The Detroit Institute of Arts and the University of Detroit Mercy are proud to present the first Superfest Showcase in Michigan at the museum on October 24th.

A selection of films from past Superfest festivals will be shown, followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers and local disability rights advocates. Cash bar. 

All films will be presented with captioning and audio-description. ASL interpretation will be provided along with live captioning for the panel discussion. Visit for details about accessible parking.

Featured Films:

  • Just Go!, Latvia, 2017 (11 minutes): Inspired by the true story about a young man, Just, who lost both of his legs in a childhood accident. At age 24, he is in love with the girl next door, and through an action-packed series of events, the film proves that looks can be deceiving.
  • Awake (20 Minutes): Everybody knows what it’s like to open your door and see a stranger sent to tell you about Jesus. But Anna isn’t everybody; she can’t see, and neither can the proselytizer, Doreen, at her door. Awake is a film about what happens when you decide not to close the door; when Jesus talk gives way to breaking into a house, baking a chocolate cake, smoking a joint, watching Ingmar Bergman, and more. 
  • Gaelynn Lea: The Songs We Sing (11 minutes): Minnesota violinist and disability rights advocate Gaelynn Lea travels the upper Midwest on tour, experiencing the ups and downs of the road while hustling hard to make it as a performer and artist.
  • The Right to be Rescued (15 minutes): The Right to Be Rescued is a short documentary about the impact of natural disasters on people with disabilities. This documentary tells the story of those disabled people left behind in Hurricane Katrina and what New Orleans and other cities are doing to make sure it never happens again.
  • On Beat (7 Minutes): This documentary short follows the lives of a deaf couple with hearing children and the unexpected outlet that brings their family closer together.
  • The Interviewer (13 minutes): When Thomas Howell goes to interview for his dream job at a prestigious law firm, he isn’t expecting that the interviewer will be a quirky, pop culture-referencing, young man with Down syndrome. However, as Thomas, the interviewer, and the firm’s senior partner learn, the right man for the job can come in an unexpected package. 


DIA Staff


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