Do you ever stop to think about who, or what, inspires you? When it comes to overcoming adversity, some of the most inspirational people are those with disabilities. Life can be difficult enough, without having to worry about the disadvantages that come with being disabled. The human spirit is strong and uplifting when presented with challenges. There are countless incredible stories that come from the people who continue to live life to the fullest, despite having to overcome daily obstacles that most of us could never understand.
Thankfully, we are lucky to have two organizations that are dedicated to telling the stories of those who have been able to accomplish larger than life feats. On April 25, 2014, People Inc. and the Museum of disABILITY History will be presenting an 84-minute documentary film unlike any other that you have seen. Raising Matty Christian is the true life story of Matthew ‘Matty’ Christian (1983-2009) who was born without a tongue and without full limbs… and what he did to overcome his disabilities. It’s also a story about the determination of Matt’s parents, Allie and Jerry Christian, who knew from the get-go that they would do everything in their power to give their child the tools, support and love that he would need to live his life with dignity. Despite the overwhelming disabilities, Matt was able to rise above and go on to do things that most of us would consider impossible.
“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.”
“Raising Matty Christian is a truly inspirational story,” said the film’s Director and Producer, Christian 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.”
“The Spring 2014 disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series will be held on Friday, April 25, with two showings of Raising Matty Christian and a reception. The event is hosted by the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. The film profiles a young man who inspired those around him not because of how he dealt with having a disability but, perhaps more than anything, because he refused to live his life as if he had one. This film is suitable for families and for anyone who is looking to be inspired.” – Nicole Forgione, People Inc.
Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series | Friday, April 25, 2014, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main Street in Buffalo.
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.
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.
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.