Sprout Film Festival returns today

JAMESTOWN — The experiences of people with disabilities will be shared when The Resource Center brings the third annual Sprout Film Festival to Jamestown today.

The festival takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on East Third Street. Admission is free thanks to a grant from TRC Foundation.

The Sprout Film Festival features short films that celebrate the diverse lives and creativity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The thought-provoking films seek to challenge assumptions and break down stereotypes about people with disabling conditions.

Sprout is a traveling film festival, and each host community selects the films that will be screened locally. For this year’s Jamestown festival, organizers have chosen 10 films; most are between two minutes and six minutes in length, while the longest film runs about 35 minutes.

Those who attended last year’s festival will discover that this year’s films have a different feel in terms of subject matter.

“This year’s selections focus on people embracing their disabilities and living life on their own terms,” said The Resource Center’s Kevin Anderson, one of the festival’s organizers. One film centers on a young man who finds joy in the smallest things and uses his gift of comedic timing to inspire those around him; another follows a young woman who enjoys watching her favorite soap operas and gets to be an extra in a film.

“Several of this year’s films showcase people who have followed their passions,” said TRC’s Beth Jermain, another festival organizer. “It is exciting to watch their journey and celebrate who each of them have become.”

One of the final films features Alonzo Clemons, who is an American animal sculptor and a savant. Clemons sustained a severe brain injury as a child, causing his developmental disability. Clemons can create a sculpture of almost any animal. His works have sold for as much as $45,000.

For more information about the Sprout Film Festival, call 661-1438 or visit www.resourcecenter.org/sprout, where you can also view the festival trailer to get a feel for some of the films.