The Sprout Film Festival: Celebrating Extraordinary, Ordinary People

On the heels of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, The Arc  Northern Chesapeake Region presents short films to entertain while also shattering stereotypes about individuals with disabilities.
On the heels of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, The Arc
Northern Chesapeake Region presents short films to entertain
while also shattering stereotypes about individuals with disabilities.

*Complimentary media passes available upon request.*

[Aberdeen, MD] October 15, 2014— From music videos to documentaries on topics ranging from sports to parenting, there is something for everyone at The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region’s second annual Sprout Film Festival, scheduled for Friday, November 14 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Harford Community College

The festival features 10 short, award-winning films that highlight or star people living with autism, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome or other disabilities, and show how these individuals enjoy rich and rewarding lives working and playing within their communities. The festival is a fitting culmination to National Disability Employment Awareness Month which is celebrated in October, and recognizes the societal and workforce contributions of people with disabilities.

All of the movies in the Sprout Film Festival are engaging and family-friendly, and some have received international acclaim. Julie Chmura, development director at The ARC NCR says, “The level of talent in these films will surprise a lot of people. Everyone who sees these feel-good films walks away with a positive perception of people with developmental disabilities, and a new understanding that there really are no limits to their capabilities.” According to Chmura, The Arc NCR specifically chose films that would appeal to a broad audience, making it equally appropriate for a couple’s date night or family outing, as well as a great learning opportunity for counselors and educators.

The Arc NCR is creating a red carpet, movie premiere atmosphere for the Sprout Film Festival. Included with the $10 admission are light hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and photo opportunities. Pre-movie activities begin at 6:00 p.m.; the films will be presented starting at 7:00 p.m.

The Sprout Film Festival takes place in the Dr. James F. LaCalle Conference Room E132 in Edgewood Hall at Harford Community College. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at http://www.arcncr.org/events_sprout.html or by calling 410.836.7177. All proceeds benefit The Arc NCR.

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About The Arc NCR (http://www.arcncr.org/index.html)
For 61 years, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region (The Arc NCR) has helped people with intellectual and developmental disabilities build better lives one person at a time. The Arc NCR currently offers services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Harford and Cecil Counties.

About the Sprout Film Festival (http://gosprout.org/film-festival/)
The Sprout Film Festival was founded in 2003 and is programmed and supported by Sprout, a New York City based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing innovative programming to individuals with I/DD. The mission of the film festival is to inspire audiences, promote inclusion and support transformative filmmaking as an integral part of social change. This unique event, which focuses exclusively on films that celebrate the diverse lives and creativity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), strives to challenge assumptions and breakdown stereotypes. By introducing powerful, thought-provoking films from around the world to new and ever-more inclusive audiences, we hope to promote greater acceptance, celebrate difference and light the spark to help make the invisible, visible.

Featured Films:

  • Be My Brother (8 min.) – Starring aspiring actor Gerard O’Dwyer as Richard, a young man with Down Syndrome, this short won the top prize in Australia’s 2009 TropFest Film Festival.
  • Kick of Hope (6 min.) – A documentary about Anthony Starego, a young man on the autism spectrum who is the varsity placekicker for Brick Township High School in New Jersey.
  • Close My Eyes (2 ½ min.) – Music video from Australian band Rudely Interrupted, an independent rock group with five of the six members living with disabilities.
  • Fathers’ Voices (14 min.) – This documentary focuses on four men raising children with development disabilities.
  • I Love Grilled Cheese (4 min.) – Created as part of the 2013 National Down Syndrome Awareness Week, this video features Libby’s take on living with big brother Max, who has Down Syndrome.
  • Teddy’s Ballgame (10 min.) – This 2013 documentary profiles Teddy Kremer, a part-time batboy for the Cincinnati Reds, who has Down Syndrome.
  • A Good Life, Too (4 min.) – The story of sculptor Alonzo Clemons, who suffered a brain injury as a toddler.
  • For the Love of Dogs (26 min.) – The longest film in the festival, For the Love of Dogs is told through the eyes of Corey, a brilliant 11 year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • The Interviewer (13 min.) – In this narrative, Thomas Howell interviews for his dream job at a prestigious law firm and finds a chance to make a difference in the world.
  • Get Closer (1 ½) – This music video explores how people treat others with disabilities.

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