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DisArt Film Festival

DisArt Independent Film Festival

Join us for the most extensive collection of Disability Independent Cinema ever collected! Several filmmakers will be on hand for discussions with audiences. Curated by Dr. David Mitchell and Dr. Sharon L. Snyder.

Free Admission

04/19  |  6:00 PM
04/20  |  6:30 PM
04/21  |  6:30 PM
04/22  |  6:30 PM


The 2015 DisArt Independent Film Festival features a retrospective of some of the best examples of independent disability film from around the globe. The screenings include film works made by disabled actors and filmmakers during the past decade and a half.  Events include appearances by well know disabled visual artists who are on the cutting edge of experimental disability portrayals including the stage and screen star Mat Fraser from season 4 of FX's "American Horror Story" (April 19), Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch who collaborated on the upbeat bio-pic, "Invitation to Dance" (April 20), and Professor Sharon Snyder (GWU, Women's Studies) on the representational art of disability in "Self Preservation: The Art of Riva Lehrer". On Wednesday (April 22) the festival will conclude with a talk by co-curator, Professor David Mitchell (English, George Washington University), about key developments in disability cinema as innovative examples of representational tendencies in the genre. Collectively the films screened serve as examples of how filmmakers capture new ways of being disabled as in(ter)dependent alternatives to living with others.

Day 1: Opening Reception
Sunday, April 19th, 6:00 PM
Total runtime: 102 minutes

Featuring Mat Fraser of American Horror Story

American Horror Story: Freak Show: "Bullseye"; S04E06

Director: Howard Deutsch 
Writers: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck
Runtime: 52 min
Born Freak

Director: Paul Sapin
Runtime: 50 min

Day 2: Disability in Motion
Monday, April 20, 6:30 PM
Total runtime: 121 minutes

Featuring Simi Linton and Christian Von Tippelskirch

The Cost of Living

Director: Lloyd Newson
Runtime: 35 minutes

Invitation to Dance

Director: Christian Von Tippelskirch
Runtime: 86 minutes

Day 3: Desiring Disability
Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 PM
Total runtime: 101 minutes


The Joy/La Joie

Director: Phillippe Thomas
Runtime: 7 minutes


Director: Stephen Lance
Runtime: 14 minutes

About Love

Director: Tofik Shakhverdiev
Runtime: 25 minutes 


Director: Ian Clark
Runtime: 25 minutes

Self Preservation: The Art of Riva Lehrer 

Director: Sharon Snyder 
Runtime: 30 minutes


Day 4: Screening Disability
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 PM
Total runtime: 90 minutes

Closing lecture by David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder

A Georgian Song

Director: Tonadgoma Cultural Disability Center
Runtime: 2 minutes

Sang Froid/Cold Blood 

Director: Pierre Louis-Levacher
Runtime:  6 minutes


Director: Martin Taylor
Runtime: 13 minutes 

Goodnight, Liberation

Director: Oriana Bolden
Runtime:  7 minutes

Whole: A Trinity of Being

Director: Shelley Barry
Runtime: 15 minutes 

I'm In Away From Here

Director: Catrona MacInnes
Runtime: 16 minutes 

What it is Like to Be My Mother

Director: Norah McGettigan
Runtime: 30 minutes 

DisArt Independent Film Festival co-curators, David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, are faculty at George Washington University. This spring their fourth book on disability history, culture, and art, The Biopolitics of Disability: Neoliberalism, Ablenationalism, and Peripheral Embodiment, will be published by the University of Michigan Press. They are also the creators of four award-winning independent disability films: Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back (1995), A World Without Bodies (2002), Self Preservation: The Art of Riva Lehrer (2004), and Disability Takes on the Arts (2006).