Tribute on the occasion of Special Olympics in Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Stereotypes, marginalization, fear. But acceptance, integration, love. Two conflicts that exist when speaking to people with developmental and cognitive dysfunction, for our fellow citizens who are fighting to defend their individual skills, but also our respect. On the occasion of organizing the World Games Special Olympics Athens 2011, the 13th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century makes a great tribute titled “So I am – Overturning preconceptions.

The tribute includes 30 documentary films that invite us to better understand people with developmental and cognitive problems and see the world through their eyes. In the tribute, which was curated by Elena Christopoulou will be held and a workshop with the participation of directors and representatives of clubs and special issues such as the struggle for human rights of persons with developmental and mental problems, the integration in school,address the bias, the risks of institutionalization and benefits of special education centers.

The films of the tribute are distancing themselves from the usual – ‘clinical’ nature – documentary with a similar theme. Instead throw light on the personality and the daily lives of these people and short people. On the one hand, highlighted the difficulties in communication, the struggle for social integration and lack of supporting practices. On the other hand, show that support from family and friendly faces, talents, strength and soul desires of such people overcome both the problems and prejudices.

A surprisingly humorous, the inside look at autism, is the documentary Neurotypical (2010) Adam Larsen / Adam Larsen (world premiere), which explores the dividing line between “normal” and “autistic”, from the perspective of second, which gives a leading role. Through their daily lives, the director openly denies the social models “regularity” in doing so the obvious: to widen – misunderstood here – the borders of the concept “man.”

The film Her name is Sabine (2007), directorial debut of actress Sandrine Bonaire / Sandrine Bonnaire, is a personal essay, testimony, and a complaint about the lack of consistent and appropriate care for people with mental health problems. The author constructs a portrait of her sister, Sabine, which after a tragic five-year stay in a psychiatric clinic where they diagnosed early in autism, has become a shadow of itself. The film won Fipresci prize in Cannes festival in 2007.

From comparable perspective, the movie that lends the title of the tribute, How I am (2007) of Ingrid Ntemets / Ingrid Demetz Caroline Laitner and / Caroline Leitner, is a revealing ‘dip’ in the psyche of Patrick, an autistic teenager who describes his life with the words “I’m like a hermit on an island.” What he says but what it says the young man converted to almost concrete images and sensations, serving as the most striking step in understanding people with autism.

A majority disarming story, starring teenager Billy, lodging Jennifer Ventiti / Jennifer Venditti the award-winning debut, entitled Billy the kid (2007). Billy is aware of being different from their peers, share generously with the audience, thoughts, concerns and sentiments arising from the buzz of first love. After the movie, Billy was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

The tender relationship of the Spanish comic artist Miguel Gaillard with 14 year old autistic daughter, Maria, unfolds in the film Maria and I (2010) of Felix Fernandez de Castro / Felix Fernandez de Castro. Through clever animation artist starring Mary filmed material of the two, and interviews of Gaillard and his ex-wife, emerges an optimistic, witty approach that balances perfectly between sensitivity and humor. The Gaillard, who does the narration, examples being the daughter: “I do not want others to treat her like a normal person, I treat her like a queen.”

Από το ντοκιμαντέρ Beautiful son των Ντον και Τζουλιάν ΚινγκCured autism? To answer this question, two films which, again around the relationship parents and autistic children, with bright colors give the courageous struggle waged by these families.
The documentary The horse boy (2009) by Michel Oraion Scott / Michel Orion Scott, parents of 5 year old Rowan turning to alternative methods of healing shamans, making a journey on horseback in Mongolia. In their personal struggle to help their autistic son, recorded by filmmakers Don and Julianne King / Don & Julianne King, the documentary Beautiful son (2007). When conventional medicine fails, choose a community of doctors and parents who are experimenting with therapeutic interventions.

Family ties come under the microscope and the award-winning documentary film Including Samuel (2008) director and photojournalist Dan Habib / Dan Habib – who will attend the festival and will participate in the conference surrounding the tribute.Drawing on his personal story with his son Samuel, Habib approaching people with similar experiences, exploring the importance of integrating social and school environment.

The therapeutic, liberating power of music is the focus of award-winning, poetic film In the garden of sounds (2010) Nikola Bellucci / Nicola Bellucci. Hero, the blind Swiss musician Wolfgang Fasher, who through music therapy helps children with abnormalities.

A different band steals the show in the documentary For once in my life (2010) of Jim and Mark Moorman Bigkam / Jim Bigham, Mark Moormann. That whole 28meles The Spirit of Goodwill Band, consisting of singers and musicians with various mental disorders, many of whom are classified as musical geniuses. An upbeat documentary evidence that stereotypes and predictions are there to shoot down.

Από το ντοκιμαντέρ The horse boy του Μισέλ Οράιον ΣκοτFour Greek films enrich the program of tribute. In the movie Princess Christini (2007) of Iris Zahmanidi with a girl heroine syndrome Down, raised questions about the integration of mentally deficient people in the so-called “central life.” The documentary Performance (2003) by Nikos Alevras, the creator of theatrical films for children of the Special School Penteli and outlines a completely separate human microcosm. Directors Valerie Kontakos Misouridis and John in the movie Ski-Suffering: Grey area – disabled (2006), pose serious concerns for decent living of people with mental disabilities, and in this case the teenager Dimitri, who is due to deficiencies in infrastructure and specializedprograms is a “gray area” of educational decline, as all students with disabilities. Finally, in the film The Trap (2010) Marina Danezi, the director tackles the issue of rehabilitation rather than only criticizing sharp gaps in the system and documenting the difficulties faced by these individuals.

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