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Nov. 1 Film Festival brings films about disabilities to Nashville audience

Be My Brother, an 8 minute short film about a young man with Down syndrome at a bus stop, won the top prize in Australia's TropFest Film Festival in 2009.

The Nashville Sprout Film Festival offers an opportunity for moviegoers to experience films by and about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event is slated for Friday, Nov. 1 at the W.O. Smith School of Music,1125 8th Ave. S., Nashville.
“We are smart, intelligent, loving people who just want to be treated like everyone else.” That's the message about people with disabilities that Joanie Crowley would like to share with directors of film and television. 
For people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, it's easy to notice that there just aren't very many movies or TV shows that feature people like them. 
“It's important for the general population to see people with disabilities in movies and TV shows,” Joanie says, “because most people don't see us as regular people.”
Joanie will be attending the Nashville Sprout Film Festival, a film event in which people with disabilities are the stars, and sometimes even the creators, of the films. The Arc Davidson County and The Arc Williamson County partner to bring this innovative touring event to the Nashville audience for the second year in a row. 
The festival will include a free daytime screening for high school students with and without disabilities at Metro Nashville Public Schools, offering students a chance to examine and discuss what inclusion for people with disabilities means to them. 
This year's evening event, a ticketed event open to the public, will be held November 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the W.O. Smith School of Music. The evening will include drinks, hors d'ouevres, a silent auction fundraiser, and film screening.
Joanie attended the first Nashville event in 2012 and said she is excited to attend again. “I loved the films and it inspired me to want to make or be in my own film,” she said about her experience.
Films for this year's event were selected by a committee that included volunteers from The Arc Davidson County, Nashville Film Festival, and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. One of the nine short films on the roster for the festival is Be My Brother, an 8 minute short film about a charming and charismatic young man with Down syndrome who challenges the prejudices of a stranger at a bus stop. The film won the top prize in Australia's TropFest Film Festival in 2009. 
The festival also features The Other Child, a 13 minute documentary by Nashville filmmaker Jon Kent which examines the unique window brothers and sisters have into each other's world when one of the siblings has autism.
Proceeds from ticket sales of the evening event will support programs and services at The Arc, providing support, education, and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Middle Tennessee. Tickets are $40 per person. Tickets and event details are available at

Posted on: 10/25/2013


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