HomeFestivalsFor Immediate Release: March 15, 2019

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2019

Press Contact:
Emily Beitiks
The Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State
(415) 405-3528
[email protected]

Superfest Disability Film Festival to Feature Film & Conversation with NPR Tiny Desk Winner Gaelynn Lea.

For over 30 years, the Superfest Disability Film Festival has celebrated cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets. We are proud to be the longest-running disability film festival in the world. What started in 1970 as a small showcase in Los Angeles, has grown into a sold-out international event, a two-day juried festival in San Francisco and Berkeley with filmmakers from all over the world.

“Superfest Showcases” bring a sampling of the films screened at the previous year’s core festival to new communities and constituents.

Thanks to our host organization, Access Services of the San Francisco Library, we are excited to present a unique Superfest Showcase that will feature American folk singer, violinist, public speaker, disability advocate and winner of NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Gaelynn Lea, discussing disability culture and the documentary chronicling her tour, “The Songs We Sing.”

Join us April 19 from 4-5:30pm at the San Francisco Public Library (Lower Level Latino/Hispanic Room) for this great conversation along with three of the winning films from the 2018 Superfest Disability Film Festival.

A panel of judges selects films, 100% people with disabilities, who come from a range of backgrounds in film, disability studies, and disability activism. They follow strict guidelines and only advance films that meet Superfest’s standards of artistry, representations of disability, and creativity.

We honor and celebrate the unique contributions of the growing disability arts and culture movement. The festival exhibits the most innovative and provocative works from both seasoned filmmakers and emerging media arts professionals.

Superfest is one of the few festivals, of any kind, in the country that prioritizes access. All films will be presented with captioning and audio descriptions for the blind and visually impaired.

What audience members are saying about Superfest:

“Film shares the poetry, challenges, barriers, artistry and experiences of disabled people in a way no other media can. Superfest contributes to a better understanding of disabled people’s lives.”

“Superfest is hugely important for our own community building within the disability realm, recognizing and supporting artists and filmmakers, and educating the world!”

“We do have our own experiences and culture, points of view to share with our own community and the world. I love the Superfest.”

About Gaelynn Lea:

“Karen Dalton and Joanna Newsom melt together in the form of Gaelynn Lea & set about absolutely obliterating your heart.” – Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys)

“The way her voice resonates is so unusual and beautiful, like nothing I’ve ever heard before.” – Jess Wolfe (of Lucius)

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been bewitching scores of fans with her haunting original songs and experimental takes on traditional fiddle music. Her work won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country.

Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about disability, finding inner freedom, and the power of music. Gaelynn has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease. In recent years, she has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.

Superfest Producers:
San Francisco State University’s Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired together host Superfest, which celebrated its 30th festival this year.

Festival coordinator Emily Beitiks said, “Superfest goes way beyond minimum standards for hosting an accessible event. Nondisabled attendees may find that they benefit from these access features, changing the way we experience moviegoing for the better.”

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