A local self-advocacy group would like people to learn about persons with “diversabilities” and the importance of integrating them fully into community.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Shuswap Connextions hosts a film festival and marketplace at Kindale, 885 Lakeshore Dr. SW.
First up, at 10:30 a.m. is an introduction to the television series Speechless, a sitcom that explores both the serious and humorous challenges a family faces with a teenager who is disabled.
Next, at 11:30, The Freedom Tour is a powerful, 52-minute documentary that has been raising awareness about institutions, both nationally and internationally. Produced in partnership with the National FilmBoard, The Freedom Tour is unique in that People First members were involved in all aspects of the film-making process.
Immediately after is the 12-minute documentary Unspoken about a 14-year-old autism spectrum ambassador, who brings her brilliance and emotional intelligence to audiences via typed messages, vibrantly sharing with those eager to learn how to connect.
The 51-minute documentary Bearing Witness: Luke Melchior follows. It is a 2003 portrait of Luke Melchior who, at 26, has lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting of the muscles. Knowing his life will be relatively short has made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution
At 1:45, it’s the romantic comedy, Keep The Change, followed by the 2015 documentary Autism in Love at 3:30, the story of four adults with autism spectrum disorders as they search for and manage romantic relationships.
At 5 p.m., catch Rory O’Shea Was Here. When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.
The film festival closes with the feature presentation, Wonder at 7 p.m., the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
In between films, shop the Marketplace, where artisans with diversabilities will be selling and showing what they have to offer between 1 and 4 p.m.
Admission to the festival is by donation.