Best doc feature at Tribeca an eye opener into disability.

I had a nice long chat with my buddy Cindy today about what life is like for people with disabilities and how they can be better integrated into society, especially once the safe space of schools is no longer available to them. Cindy volunteers regularly at Park School in Evanston, where she said that most of the students were aged between 6 and 20 and had Down Syndrome.

I’d been thinking about the dilemma of whether integrated school systems where students with disabilities are mixed in with typically developing students  is more of a boon or a bane for them. On one hand, mixing the kids early on will allow them to get to know each other on a more personal level, and thus increase the level of understanding of the challenges they face. This could translate into more people with disabilities being able to find employment later on.

On the other hand, as my friends Taylor and William pointed out during our discussion, young children can be really mean. Without guidance from parents and teachers about mutual respect and not judging books by their covers, integrating kids that way could put children with disabilities in the direct line of fire of verbal abuse.

And then there’s the whole issue of training teachers to be able to differentiate their teaching well enough to match the varied learning levels of all their students. And because training costs money, funding will always remain an issue.

So when I came across the list of winners at the Tribeca Film Festival on the NYT, Alexandra Codina’s Monica & David caught my eye. When I saw the trailer, it was love at first sight. My heart melted like putty.

The film follows the marriage of Monica & David, two adults with Down Syndrome, and their family members who strive to support them. I’m definitely looking forward to a screening near me. :)


Subscribe in a reader

Bookmark and Share

Freakonomics the Documentary

It’s no secret that Freakonomics was a wildly successful book – NY Times Bestseller, follow-up Superfreakonomics and even a great podcast series I often listen to Freakonomics Radio. So it’s no surprise that it caught the attention of Paris Je T’aime producer Chad Troutwine. In fact, it got him so interested, that he’d spent a year stalking the authors, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, so they could work together on bringing the world Freakonomics the Documentary.

With a $3 million budget, the film’s roped in some of the biggest directors in the documentary world to work on the various segments. Names like Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) and Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) will each take on 15-minute segments to tackle the book’s various chapters.

Now just over 2.5 years since the idea was first announced, those of us eager to see it will finally get to as it’ll be the big closing night film at the Tribeca Film Festival come May 2nd. With Magnolia Pictures, which distributed hits like Man on Wire and Food, Inc., already set to distribute Freakonomics the Documentary, I smell another smashing success coming soon.

Subscribe in a reader

Bookmark and Share

Singapore to take the spotlight at MIPTV in Cannes

At MIPTV. Photo by ulybug

Come April 12-16 at MIPTV, one of the biggest market places for the sale and purchase of television content worldwide, Singapore will be the Country of Focus and have the honor of hosting a half-day conference to promote our local content and services.

Making the trip with the largest contingent of 14 media companies there, will be MIPTV’s Guest-of-Honor and the island-city’s Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Lui Tuck Yew.

Click here to read the full article from PR Newswire.

That’s such exciting news from home!  And congratulations to MDA for the great work in pushing our local content to the world. I’d love to see what one of these conventions is like, but the $1.3K price tag makes that impossible right now. Perhaps I’ll get my chance in future. In the meantime, though, I look forward to hearing good news from the team heading to Cannes soon! :)

Media Impact Spotlight Ep2: Erik Proulx on Lemonade

So if you read my previous entry on the short documentary Lemonade, which features the inspiring stories of 16 people who turn their lives around after getting laid off, you’ll know that I’m a fan. That’s why when I heard news of the movie coming to a screen in Chicago, I grabbed the opportunity to go.

A huge crowd showed up at both screenings in the beautiful Chopin Theatre. I caught up with Erik Proulx, the Creator & Executive Producer of Lemonade. He shared with me what its like to receive so much support from cast, crew and viewers alike, and how he’s utilizing the power of film to inspire others.

[Vimeo 10130844]

If you’re in the US, I encourage you to catch it for free on Hulu. If you’re outside of the US, Erik’s arranged to make it available for viewing online privately, but only until this Sunday. Simply sign up for the film’s mailing list to learn how. He’s also currently still seeking stories for his follow-up film… Lemonade, Detroit. Click here to learn more.

Media Impact Spotlight is a web video series featuring professionals utilizing various forms of media for positive social change. Click here to subscribe to it on Vimeo.

Subscribe in a reader

Bookmark and Share