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The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. will host the Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series on Friday, April 25, 2014, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main Street in Buffalo. The featured film is Raising Matty Christian. The purpose of the event is to educate attendees, challenge stereotypes and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities.
The movie profiles the life of Matthew ‘Matty’ Christian (1983-2009), from the town of Canton, MA, who was born without full limbs or a tongue. The film chronicles his dally struggles and how his parents, Allie and Jerry Christian, raised him to face his challenges head on and his uplifting achievements that followed as a result. The 84-minute documentary focuses on Matty’s legacy of strength and determination.
A reception will be held 5 p.m. at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street in Buffalo (half mile from theatre). The film’s Director and Producer Christian de Rezendes and Associate Producer Paul Plotkin will be the keynote speakers. They will share why they created the movie and how they have been inspired.
De Rezendes was introduced to the project by his friend and the film’s associate producer Paul Plotkin of Saunderstown, RI, who the Christian family hired to edit and transfer VHS home movies to DVD. De Rezendes, along with his wife and co-producer Amanda de Rezendes, were hired by Allie and Jerry Christian in the fall of 2011. “Raising Matty Christian is a truly inspirational story,” said de Rezendes “You can’t watch a few moments of video and not be moved by how Matty’s achievements apply to your own life and how you can improve your own outlook every day.”
“From a diversity aspect, the film could have a significant effect on acceptance of others who are different,” said disABILITIES Film Festival Director and People Inc. Associate Vice President David Mack-Hardiman. “The film is so inspiring because Matty led his life like he did not have any limitations. He was an amazing athlete, friend and mentor. I think people of any age and families should strive to have an open mind after watching the movie.”
Movie tickets are available in advance at the Museum of disABILITY History and can also be purchased at the Amherst Dipson Theatre on the day of the event. Tickets are $5 per person. The speakers’ segment at the Museum is free to all film screening patrons.
To learn more, visit www.disabilityfilmfest.org or call the Museum of disABILITY History at 716-629-3626. The sponsor of the Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival is the New York State Council on the Arts.
The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts relating to the history of people with disabilities. The mission is to tell the story of the lives, triumphs, and struggles of people with disabilities as well as society’s reactions. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.
People Inc. is a not-for-profit health and human services agency providing programs and services to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York. Since 1971, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity.