Indie Film Series: Voices of Ability

Graphic with text. Portland Film Festival presents the Indie Film Series. May 20-23. May's focus is on Voices of Ability. Films made with, by and about people with disabilities.

This month’s Indie Film Series will spotlight Voices of Ability — A Future of Inclusion. Join us in watching this special series of independent films, May 20-23, 2021.

The Indie Film Series will screen from May 20-23, 2021.Watch at INDIEFILMSERIES.ORG

Films to be screened:

Image description: Two men sit on a bench with their faces enlarged and pictured again looking in different directions. The title says "Feeling Through".

Feeling Through –  Doug Roland, Director
2021 Oscar nomination.
Feeling Through is the first film to feature a DeafBlind actor in a lead role. It’s a coming of age story that follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. What begins as an awkward meeting between strangers, quickly becomes an intimate bond between friends, and a journey that forever changes Tereek. RATED PG

Image description: A man and a woman are close and dance. They are both wet from rain or water. The man is in a tux with a baseball helmet and a superhero mask. The women has dripping mascara and makeup. The time of day is evening.

Under the Lights – Miles Levin, Director
Sam is a boy with epilepsy so desperate to feel like a regular kid, he goes to prom knowing that the lights will make him have a seizure. By filmmaker with epilepsy Miles Levin, Under the Lights serves to be of the few authentic, empathetic representations of epilepsy in cinema, an effort to fight the brutal stigma a community of 1 in 26 faces every day. RATED PG

Image Description: A young girl is surrounded by stuffed toys and dolls.

Áine – Directors Alexandria Cree and Kristen Hilkert
Áine is a story about raising a daughter in a world that has already defined her potential. We follow the life of a young girl with Down syndrome from her mother’s pre-natal diagnosis through to her current day challenges. As the family navigates unexpected turns, this little girl will sass you with her tenacity for life and love of music. RATED G

Image Description: A young woman looks out into the distance. The photo is taken from the ground. The title "Expectations" is stenciled in front of her gaze.

Expectations – Shawn Lovering, Director
Ashley Eakin is a passionate filmmaker who is committed to capturing the complexity of disability in film and television. In her own life, she has defied expectations having experienced over 28 surgeries and cancer, while also having a 10+ year career in entertainment. Through her journey of coming to terms with her identity, she has found her calling as a writer/director challenging the lack of disability representation, while presenting a more diverse narrative. RATED G

Image description: Four women are shown in different colors. The first woman is missing her right arm, the second woman is in a wheelchair, the third woman is running in a race with a number bid and the final women is in shorts and a v-neck looking off into the distance. The title "How Much Am I Worth?" is listed above with info about the filmmaker: A film by Rachel Handler & Catrina Rubenis-Stevens. There are three unrecognizable film festival laurels.

How Much Am I Worth – Directors Rachel Handler and Catriona Rubenis-Stevens
This stirring documentary explores the failings of the U.S. health system through the lens of four women with disabilities. RATED G

Image Description: A iPhone showing a person's contact info with a man looking at something off screen. He has his hand on his check and is looking at the off image item intently. On the bottom of the image is the title, "In Dependence." In addition, you can see two festival laurels that are unrecognizable.

In Dependence – Kimberlee Holland, Director
A peek into some of the ways in which Patrick Ivison and many others with disabilities must navigate the financial implications of living freely while needing physical care. RATED PG

Image description: Translucent hand written text that says, "2nd Act by Danny J Gomez. A film by Cultural Detritus "

2nd Act: Danny J. Gomez – Directors, F. Carl Hansen and Danny J. Gomez
A short documentary chronicling Danny J. Gomez’s journey from surviving Hurricane Katrina and a life-altering accident to becoming a professional actor. RATED G

Image Description: Two dirty and paint stained Vans shoes with high-ankle socks. The image is black and white with no color. The tile of the film is big and stark. The Fist Don't Care When It Rains. A Film by Jennifer Msumba.

The Fish Don’t Care When It Rains – Jennifer Msumba, Director
With humor and heart, autistic artist Jen Msumba demonstrates what the simple life of a fish can teach us about accepting our circumstances.  RATED PG

Image Description: You see the back of the head of person. Their gender is not apparent. The person has brown hair and a fading red stone-washed shirt. The person is staring off into a park with blurred out trees that are green and red. The title is on top of the image, but it is not written in normal text. It is written in lower case for "silent," then uppercase for "N," and then some musical note meaning no sound, then "tes." Silen Notes.

Silent Notes – Kiki Tsakalakis, Director
A timid and withdrawn Zacharias seeks to join a black Baptist choir despite his deafness, drawn to a community with which he seems to have little in common. Zacharias perseveres against his insecurities, impairment, and difference in culture, attempting to find peace in achieving something he desperately desires, a place of acceptance and belonging. RATED G

Image Description: The NOTE-Dying GIRL is written in the sand with water approaching on the top left.

The Not Dying Girl –  Beth Ruyak, Director
Lauren McCullough had barely graduated high school when she was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer. A cure was elusive and so was funding for research into a disease that only affected a few hundred kids every year. But Lauren was unstoppable. With a blog, a bucket list and her inspiring voice, she launched a campaign to raise money and awareness about pediatric cancer. RATED PG

Hyper Active movie poster

Hyper Active –  Cory Reeder, Director
I am terrified of making this documentary. Will my recent adult ADHD diagnosis make me look weak, unreliable, unhireable in the entertainment industry? I fear being judged. I feel ashamed for being diagnosed so late. And,
I am angry that my parents didn’t catch this when I was younger.
If I was going to put my truth on screen I’d have to accept that I’d be exposing myself to others’ perceptions, showcasing my fears, and revealing my secret vulnerability. Would it be worth it?
RATED G

Attention Social Media Enthusiasts. Please share this post or image. Or both. Here are some other items to help amplify our event. See all the images below:

General Indie film Series Story Images:
Blank Gradient Story
Blank Black Story
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Blank Red Story
Blank White Story

Voices of Ability Story Images:
I support voices of ability image
Group Story Image 1
Group Story Image 2
Doug Roland, Feeling Through Story Image
Kiki Tsakalakis, Silent Notes
Emily Purry, Voices of Ability Director
F. Carl Hansen, 2nd Act
Danny Gomez, 2nd Act
Shawn Lovering, Expectations
Rachel Handler, How Much Am I Worth
Jen Msumba, The Fish Don’t Care
Kristen Hilkert, Áine
Kimberlee Holland, In Dependence
Miles Levin, Under The Lights
Keely Wells, Voices of Ability Director
Beth Ruyak, The Not Dying Girl

Voices of Ability Square Images:
Group Square Image Illustration
Group Square real pictures
I support voices of ability image

Voices of Ability Instagram Tile
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Voice of Ability Complete Tile


Written image description:
Independent voices are more vital to our culture and need more support than ever before. Join the Portland Film Festival in amplifying independent filmmakers monthly with the Indie Film Series. The month will spotlight Voices of Ability.

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Graphic with text. Portland Film Festival presents the Indie Film Series. May 20-23. May's focus is on Voices of Ability. Films made with, by and about people with disabilities.

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