SDFF 2019 Official Selection, America ReFramed: DEEJ, is streaming for free this month and will be rebroadcast on World TV (KQED) on July 14 at 8 p.m. as part of a month-long commemoration and celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the #MoveToInclude initiative. The film is an SDFF 2019 Official Selection, and its filmmaker Robert Rooy is a long-time SDFF alum. The film ended up winning a Peabody and an Emmy nomination.
DEEJ is the story of DJ Savarese (“Deej”), a gifted, young writer and advocate for nonspeaking autistics, whose work proves he’s far from silent. Though directed by Rooy, Savarese is both a commentator and co-producer of DEEJ, not merely its subject.
Once a “profoundly disabled” foster kid who was perceived as already on a fast track to nowhere, the Deej of the film is a first-year college student who insists on standing up for his peers: people who are dismissed as incompetent because they are neurologically diverse. He argues forcefully they are too often “housed in classrooms of easy lessons.” DEEJ tells a coming-of-age story that showcases a young man’s resolve and creativity in forging strong bonds with his parents, his devoted extended family, and a community of close friends. Profound and unflinching, the film reveals what it takes to make the goals of “inclusion” and “disability rights” a reality. Will Deej be able to find freedom in his own life and for others like him?
To learn more about the World Channel’s Commemoration of the ADA’s 30th Anniversary and the #Move To Include, Click Here.
To learn more about the film Deej, Click Here.