If a picture is worth 1000 words, imagine the impact of a short film. And not just any short film, but a collection of powerful narratives created by and about people with disabilities. In conjunction with National Developmental Disability Awareness Month (March), The Arc Pikes Peak Region’s (The Arc PPR) Fifth Annual Achieve with Us Colorado Film Festival will “build change in perception” of those with differing abilities.
“Each year we hope to have a more thoughtful, funnier, touching and exciting selection of films. This year is no exception, with short films that will leave you unhappy about having to wait an entire year for our next Film Festival,” Craig Severa, film curator and advocacy coordinator, said. “We hope to see you at 1 pm, 3:30 pm or 7 pm, at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center on March 1st!”
Among a line-up of excellent short films, the film festival will feature Learning to Drive, starring Colorado’s own Connor Long, an award winning actor and athlete who also happens to have Down syndrome. Connor is known for his outstanding performance in the film Menschen, which garnered him a nomination for a 2016 Young Artist Award for best performance in a short film.
Learning to Drive, directed by Roderick E. Stevens, II, is Michael’s story! Michael’s always wanted to drive a car, just like his momma and his brother, Red… and just like Marcia on The Brady Bunch; the problem is he has Down syndrome. On a road trip to scatter their recently deceased mother’s ashes at the Grand Canyon, Michael is determined to convince his preoccupied brother, Red, to teach him how to drive! In a dramatic and humorous turn, Michael takes it upon himself to prove his resolve, forcing Red to face his own fears, let go and just be Michael’s brother. Click here to learn more about this film.
The festival will also feature the documentary LONELY HIGHWAY, by local filmmaker Andy Kwiatkowski (18). LONELY HIGHWAY is an intimate portrayal of family love and support, as Andy’s parents and sisters come to terms with the unique challenges of and resilience necessary to be supportive of a family member on the autism spectrum. Kwiatkowski is a student at the Youth Documentary Academy and is currently enrolled at UCCS.
The Colorado Springs community can look forward to 2017’s event on Wednesday, March 1, at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, with three separate showings: 1:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 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. Get a sneak peek at some of the films in this year’s festival in the trailer below, and mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 1!
To learn more about The Arc Pikes Peak Region and the annual “Achieve with Us” Colorado Film Festival, visit www.thearcppr.org or contact Gin Woolsey at 719-471-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.