(Documentary Feature, 1 hr 12 mins)
Scheduled to attend: Reagan Brashear (Co-Producer)
Synopsis: Abandoned by his birth parents and presumed incompetent, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society's obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. Deej is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ – not by his parents or autism experts.
Director: Robert Rooy was formerly a first assistant director in the mainstream film industry and as such is a veteran of more than forty productions, including LONESOME DOVE, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, MINORITY REPORT and THE WEST WING. He has also worked in more than twenty countries creating media with and for international anti-poverty, human rights and environmental organizations. His encounter with Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, led to producing and directing TO OUR CREDIT, a two-part PBS series that aired in 1998. TO OUR CREDIT was the first in-depth examination of microcredit, an innovative antipoverty strategy, to air in the United States. After a brief additional stint in Hollywood, he resumed the creation of social issue media. On the basis of the latter work, he was recently given a Distinguished Alumnus Award by his undergraduate alma mater, Calvin College.
(Documentary Short, 9 mins)
Synopsis: Four young men in Paris speak their own version of French that brings them closer together, even as they feel separated from the rest of Parisian society.