The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. are pleased to host the 9th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series on Saturday, October 12 beginning at 2 pm. The goal is to provide entertainment and information while exploring issues faced by individuals with disabilities. The programs are intended to educate viewers, offer different perspectives, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities to popular culture.
This year, the Festival includes two screenings of the film, Inclusion, a poignant record of Zuihou Taiko drumming team, an intellectually disabled professional drumming team that placed 2nd in the Tokyo International Japanese Drumming Competition. This film will be presented at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Dipson Amherst Theater (across from UB South), 3500 Main Street, Buffalo.
Living in a community called “Colony Unzen” in Nagasaki prefecture, the drumming team leads an autonomous existence in normal, residential homes, with the support and friendship of both specialists and ordinary neighbors. Although the members started drumming as a mere rehabilitation and therapy exercise, through sheer dedication, constant practice, they became a full-fledged drumming team, fulfilling their dream to compete professionally under the supervision of Ichiro Jishoya, a world-class taiko drummer. The film charts their gradual command of Jishoya’s compositions, while portraying their daily lives and showing how, after many years of struggle, they have earned the right “to live normally,” in Colony Unzen. As the members of Zuihou Taiko, their families and loved ones, even a mother who once institutionalized her son, reveal the story of their lives to the camera, they show us a world of Inclusion.
Between the two screens of Inclusion, Film Festival patrons are invited to the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo at 4:30 PM where University at Buffalo historian and disability studies scholar, Mike Rembis, will introduce the evening's speakers: a group of local self-advocates who will talk about what inclusion means to them. Local artists with disabilities will also be exhibiting, talking about and selling their artwork. Light refreshments will be served.
Tickets for the 9th Annual Film Festival and Speaker Series can be purchases in advance at the Museum of disABILITY History or at the Dipson Amherst Theater on the day of the event.. Regular general admission is $5. Other discounts are available. For more information, call (716) 629-3626 or visit www.museumofdisability.org.