Abilities Arts Festival 2012

Join our mailing list

Abilities Arts Festival 2012

A series of three black and white pictures. In the first one two hands are holding each other, in the second one, some toys and pills spilled on the floor and in the third one a seated woman and a man wearing a uniform, chatting.

Desire. War. Court Fools. Speed Dating. All in a weekend of disability media.

Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd September

Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton Street on Yonge, Toronto, ON, Canada

Curated by Caglar Kimyoncu and Julie McNamara, creators of the London Disability Film Festival.

Day 1: Friday 21st September 2012

Liaisons (7pm)

Freewheeling glimpses into the rich tapestry of our relations

Buttermouth  (2009 England, 06:55 mins)

A haunting stop motion animation about a mother and daughter and their blindness.

Shadi in the beautiful well  (2003 Wales/Denmark/Lebanon, 10:35 mins)
By Mahdi Fleifel

Shadi lives in a Palestinian refugee camp where he breeds pigeons. One day his white pet dove goes missing – and Shadi sets out on a journey to recapture his prized possession.

Shades of Living  (2012 England, 10:13 mins)

Parents wrapped up in an unhappy marriage forget Theo who takes refuge in the woods nearby. He is an adventurous boy with a fertile imagination. Has he created invisible friends out of his longing for love or attracted something supernatural?

All Day  (2010 United Kingdom, 11:00 mins)
By Nadia Nadarajah

A romantic comedy about two single neighbours looking for love. Each one fancies the other, but neither knows that the other is Deaf. They visit the same locations, each time just missing each other. Will they ever meet?

Be My Brother  (2008 Australia, 07:00 mins)
By Genevieve Clay

A young man’s charm and charisma enchants a stranger at a bus stop. But someone else’s heart is at stake.

A highlight of Other Film Festival (Melbourne)

Finding a Sky  (2010 United Kingdom)
Director: Ewan Marshall

A brief encounter between a retired naval officer and a former painter. Once a hero at sea, Captain Robert McIntock, played by John Alderton, now struggles with increasing dementia, which is causing concern. When a newly blind woman, Betty arrives at his residential care home, Robert leads her in a mission to the garden for a moment of seeing that lights up both their lives.

Patience And Absurdity (2012, Canada, 15 min 47 sec)
Writers and Directors: Sylvi MacCormac and Paula Cole

Life is fluid, ever changing and uncertain as time physically and mentally taunts us, washing away the memories we create with those we love. Patience and Absurdity shows the synchronized interaction of a mother and daughter as they move through life together, leading and following, enriching each other’s experiences and sharing stories of a life well lived. We see that it takes a great deal of loving patience to be kind and selfless in caring for family. Sylvi and Sylvia reveal that anxiety and grief, joy and humorous absurdity reside in the middle of the difficulty.

A highlight of Wide Angle Media Festival (Vancouver)

Café Chat  (2010 Australia, 09:00 mins)

Lots of exciting new faces are speed dating across the table. The risk is that the conversation will lead nowhere at all.

Day 2: Saturday 22nd September 2012

DesirAbility (7pm)

The persistence of passion. The power of longing. Followed by panel discussion: ‘Desiring and Desirability’

Want (2007 Canada)
Dir. Loree Erickson

An intimate multi-layered documentary exploring the topics of sex and disability from a queer perspective, and the discriminatory attitudes towards the sex lives of disabled people. The film contains sexually explicit images and everyday moments showing people with disabilities as not just sexual but sexy.

Our Compass (2009 Canada, 29:00 mins)
Dir. Tess Vo

Dating, sex, battling stigma and coming out – this documentary tells the previously unheard stories of a group of young, queer-identified Torontonians who are also labelled as having intellectual disabilities. This diverse group comes together at Compass – a social group created for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth – where they are offered a support group, a social network, and a safe place to explore their identities.

Vera Cam (Desirability Season) (2003 United Kingdom 29:00mins)
Dir. Anne Parisio

Part of the BBC’s Desirability Season, this provocative and highly sexual documentary follows the life of Vera, the self-proclaimed “sexy, sassy, witty and infinitely stylish amputee princess of the internet.” From erotic dancer through webcam sensation to art student, Vera’s story is one that constantly combats the voices from within society who want you to think that there is only one way to be beautiful.

Day 3: Sunday 23rd September 2012

Art ‘n’ Life, Life as Art (7pm)

Exquisite, quirky films translate daily life into art.

Hang Ups  (2012 England, 11:12 mins)

An Aerialist works with a disabled writer/actor to produce an unusual dance/movement. A third collaborator, a filmmaker, begins to explore his own prejudices about disability. Through art and interview an interesting dimension unfolds between the three participants.

Beyond the surface  (2011 United Kingdom, 06:30 mins)
By Kevin Clifford

Disabled and non-disabled dancers achieve a haunting but beautiful fluidity of movement in this mesmeric piece filmed almost entirely underwater. Inspired by stories of fishermen lost at sea and by The Little Mermaid.

Necessary Games (Necessity)  (2009 Australia, 07:59 mins)

Dancers from Restless Youth Ensemble enchant us in this expressive, hauntingly mysterious and graceful contemporary dance performance.

Wake up in Dream  (2012 England, 3:44 mins)

A visually-stunning short film about a man who is drawn into a world somewhere between dream and reality, fantasy and memory. This mesmerising, surreal and beautifully vivid dance film was devised, who plays the main character, and was directed by Sergio Cruz.

All the King’s Fools  (2012 England, 16:00 mins)
By Ann Pugh

In 2011, a company of actors with learning difficulties created performances for Hampton Court Palace based on research into the lives of Tudor fools. All the King’s Fools documents this innovative work.

People and Power  (2012,  04:55 mins)
By Lucy Skuce

A compelling and engaging insight into Lucy’s life as she directs and presents to camera her unique vision. She depicts the choices and control she has over the things that occupy her everyday life.

Profile  (2008 Canada, 04:30 mins)
By Sharon Katz

A woman profiled and rejected as a threat by an airport detection device has only seconds to reverse the machine’s decision. This disquieting socio-political allegory parodies technology adopted by 21st century Western culture desperate to control and contain.

A highlight of Picture this…film festival (Calgary)

Resistance  (2008 England, 12:00 mins)
By Liz Crow

1939: Hitler authorises a programme of mass-murder targeting Germany’s disabled people, transporting them to killing centres. Elise is a patient who sweeps the institution and watches everything, saying nothing. Buses filled with patients leave and return empty. Based on real events, this is the story of one woman’s resistance!

Beauty School  (2012 Canada, 12:00 mins)
By Liz Crow

Beauty School is the story of Laurie, a 40-something woman who’s lost sight of what makes her beautiful and is struggling with the question of whether or not to get a “face transplant”. It is also the story of Frank (played by David Roche, himself). Frank reminds Laurie that what she needs isn’t a new face — just a new perspective.

Sanity For Beginners (2012, Canada, 10 mins)
Director/Writer: Jan Derbyshire

Synopsis: A comic docu-fantasy about the ‘craziness’ of psychiatric labelling and drugging. Award winning playwright, performer and now media artist Jan Derbyshire offers her seriously funny take on the increasing number of ‘new’ mental illnesses and the constantly expanding use of prescription drugs.

All For Claire  (2010 England, 07:00 mins)
By Simon Mckeown

An animated love story – Lee armed with a beautiful rose, tries to win Claire’s heart. Each time he draws near to handing her the flower he is tried and tested. Will Claire ever accept his red rose?

Revenge of the Rat Bastard Brother (2010 USA, 07:07 mins)
Dir. Jeanette Castillo

The bitter, bastard brother of a world-famous Mouse seeks his revenge when members of the weird community take over the airwaves, if just for a moment!

For more information on the programme, workshops and tickets, visit

Share this:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 60 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Skip to content