- Cheri Russo Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – The founder of the Sprout Touring Film Festival plans to hold a workshop with high school and college students at Ohio University Lancaster a few hours before the festival begins. The workshop and festival will be held on Wednesday, March 13 in the Wilkes Art Gallery.
The festival features eight different short films, many documentaries, about those living with developmental disabilities. Anthony DiSalvo founded the event and wants to share with students why he thinks it's important to tell the stories of those with developmental disabilities.
"I plan to cover the basics of making a video featuring people with developmental disabilities," said DiSalvo. "We will also discuss how film is used in this field and how the general public reacts to seeing people with developmental disabilities on the screen. It is an exciting time for film in the field and it should be used more as an educational tool and as a therapeutic tool."
The workshop is open to any interested students and will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Raymond S. Wilkes Gallery for the Visual Arts in Brasee Hall. The film festival will start at 7 p.m. that same day in the same location. The entire event is being put on by the Ohio University Lancaster Cultural Events Committee and the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
"One of the films is about a rock band from Australia called "Rudely Interrupted." All of the members but one has some type of developmental disability," said Fairfield DD Community Outreach Coordinator John Bosser. "Two have autism and two have Down syndrome.It's really kind of interesting.It is a short documentary, seven or eight minutes, about the band and how they became popular."
The Sprout Film Festival is based in Manhattan and houses a library of approximately 200 films related to the field of developmental disabilities. By presenting films of artistry and intellect, insight and humor, the festival hopes to offer accurate, nuanced portrayals of people with developmental disabilities.
"One of the criteria I gave to my selection committee is the film must have a realistic portrayal of people with disabilities.It doesn't have to be a positive portrayal, but it must be realistic," said Di Salvo. "So, if a character has a disability then the actor must have the disability."
"It's reality. People with disabilities have the same hopes and dreams as anyone else.There are people that want to go to college.There are people that want to work in an office and be part of a team," said Bosser. "It's giving them the same opportunities that someone who went to acting school would get.People need to realize that people with disabilities have the same wants and needs.They deserve the same opportunities to do what they want to do."
The workshop and festival are free.You can learn more about the Sprout Touring Film Festival by visiting www.sproutflix.org.