If I were to have a beef with the fine folks at Indy's inaugural Indy Shorts International Film Festival, it would be in placing the 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge winning short film Footloose in their "Heroes & Survivors" collection of short films. It's a placement that kinda sorta conflicts with the entire message of the film that captured the film challenge's Best Awareness Campaign prize, one of four prizes in the 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge with all four winning films presented at Indy Shorts.
It's a minor quibble, really, but still a serious one as pretty much the entire message behind the nicely done, entertaining Footloose is that "We're not particularly heroic, we're not particularly different, and we just are who we are."
So, seriously, chill.
The film centers around Kat (Katherine Crawford), an army veteran and an amputee, and Tatiana (Tatiana Lee), a wheelchair using model and actress born with spina bifida, and their discussions about the everyday quirks, foibles, challenges and humorous experiences in living daily life with a disability.
As it turns out, they're not that different from you and I, though I suppose I don't actually count since I was born with spina bifida AND I'm also a wheelchair using double amputee.
You may refer to me as Tatiana Katherine.
Written and directed by David Tenenbaum, the 5-minute Footloose is a rather matter-of-fact narrative short that easily dances on the doc line since it runs so incredibly close to the true disability experience. Those with disabilities who watch the award-winning short film will likely both cringe and laugh with familiarity, whether we've experienced the obvious biases that come with the every day disability experience or the awkward, sometimes just plain weird world of people interested in us because of our disabilities rather than because of who we are.
You do know what I mean by "interested," right?
You certainly don't have to have a disability to appreciate Tenenbaum's delightfully honest Footloose, though a sense of humor would sure help.
Footloose is, sigh, screening as part of the Heroes & Survivors Collection at Indy Shorts at the following times:
Thursday, July 26th at 2:45pm at DeBoest Lecture Hall
Saturday, July 28th at 2:15pm at DeBoest Lecture Hall
Both screenings are, of course, inside the film festival's host facility - the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. For more information on Indy Shorts, visit the Indy Shorts website.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic