Deej – Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers
February 23 @ 7:00 pm
Join The Arts Council of Central Louisiana on Friday, February 23rd at The Gem for a screening of Deej, a documentary about a nonspeaking young man dreams of autistic civil rights. This film, with its insider view of autism, challenges us all to live inclusion. This film is part of the 2017 – 2018 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Q & A with the filmmaker will follow the screening.
Southern Circuit is the South’s only tour of filmmakers, providing communities with an interactive way of experiencing independent film. Southern Circuit provides organizations with the opportunity to screen work from emerging filmmakers and some of the medium’s most respected directors. The Arts Council of Central Louisiana is one of only two screening partners in Louisiana. The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the film:
Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a tect-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean. In this first-of-its kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autistic, Robert Rooy and DJ share editorial control as they navigate the challenges of representing autism. Deej, the result of this often difficult partnership, is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ — not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera. At its core, Deej reflects the level of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: “Nothing about us without us.”