On Tour: Lancaster, PA

27 Sep

September 13, 2017 | DEEJ | Lancaster, PA

There is nothing more gratifying for a filmmaker than to have one’s film shown to a large audience.  Thanks to the energetic organizational and promotional efforts of Barry Kornauser, the Millersville University’s Ware Center  in Lancaster, PA, was filled with 250 people who came to watch Deej on Wednesday night, September 13th.  And more than half the audience stuck around for a substantive Q & A session afterward.


The evening got off to a lively start with a pre-screening panel of professionals who shared a wide variety of views on how best to ensure the inclusion of the nonspeaking and of all those on the autism spectrum.  Brad Minnig, pianist and composer, described his own personal path to full participation.  Like DJ, the subject of Deej, he was adopted; and like DJ, his adoptive mother spent endless hours in helping Brad break through to full communication and inclusion.  He now expresses himself eloquently through the spoken word and through his musicianship.  He shared part of one of his piano compositions as a lead-in to the screening.

Other panelists included Maureen Westcott, Executive Director of the Arc of Lancaster County; Kelly O’Byrne, Director of NHS Lancaster; Sugey Cruz-Evert, President of the Tommy Foundation; Carolyn Bruey, Program Supervisor of IU 13’s Autism Solutions and School Psychologist; and Thomas Neuville, Professor and Coordinator of Career and Life Studies at Millersville University.

Equally gratifying, at least for me, was the opportunity to interact with students at Millersville University.  I sat in on two of Professor Ping Yang’s communication classes at the university in which the focus was cultural difference, and how we as individuals and as society can transcend the barriers cultural difference creates.  I was also a guest in a section of Dr. Changfu Chang’s introduction to documentary filmmaking and shared my own somewhat circuitous path into the field, my continued excitement in exploring the form, and at least a few lessons learned the hard way!

It would have been difficult if not impossible to cram anything more into what was an intensely stimulating twenty four hours!

Post provided by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Robert Rooy


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