#Slamdance2024: Unstoppable Shorts

Slamdance Film Festival has made what they call “Unstoppable” into an important part of the festival’s DNA. These films are made by or about people with disabilities (whether visible or not). These sections (feature and shorts) have films that provide an outlet for filmmakers who see the world a bit differently. Here are a some of films from the Unstoppable Shorts section.

A Perfect Morning Situation (6 minutes), directed by Alex Gwyn Davies. This animated film features a very strange and frenetic goat that seeks to explain what it’s like to try to get ready for the day when you have ADHD—at times in near Seussian rhyme.

Baby (20 minutes), directed by James Di Martino. Kayla has Down Syndrome and wants to have a baby. She and her boyfriend at their group home enjoy watching a trashy talk show “You Are the Father”. In time the Kayla does become pregnant, but will they be able to be a family?

Baggage (14 minutes), directed by Tim Hendirx. A couple meet for a first date as a restaurant that specializes in dealing with emotional baggage—literal baggage. These two have entire towers of baggage they are bringing into this relationship. How can they handle each other’s baggage when they have so much of their own? Love blossoms.

The Legend of El Cucuy (14 minutes), directed by Cynthia Garcia Williams. A misbehaving child has a mother who is indifferent to her disobedience. Her father tries to tell her about the Hispanic folklore creature El Cucuy, who comes in the night to steal disobedient children. The mother discounts such stories, until one night…. I’m not sure why this is in the Unstoppable section, but it is a decent telling of a cultural story.

Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World (23 minutes), directed by Julio Cesar Palacio. Makayla is a 14 year old Black girl with autism. Her whole life she has been non-verbal. When given a letterboard to communicate, she shares her world in the most amazing, poetic, and thoughtful ways. This documentary is an outstanding examples of the stories that short documentaries can tell. It deserves to find a way to be seen by more people than will see it in festivals. This really is Oscar®-quality work.

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