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Sprout Film Festival Returns to Baltimore in 2015

Harriet Yaffe headshot

Sprout Film Festival Returns to Baltimore in 2015

Harriet Yaffe headshotBy Harriet S. Yaffe, Film Program Coordinator, Sprout

The Arc Baltimore is now preparing for its Third annual Sprout Film Festival to be co-presented on February 14th with the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism at Towson University. Beginning at 2pm at the West Village Commons, they will show 11 short films on a wide range of subject matter. What better way to celebrate Valentines Day than to bring your loved ones to support this wonderful event. It is sure to inspire conversation, change perceptions and provide an entertaining afternoon.

The Sprout Film Festival presents works showcasing the unique lives and creative expressions of people who are almost never seen in main stream media: those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in New York City in 2003, the SFF is the first of its kind to exclusively focus on I/DD and has a mission to not only inspire and entertain, but also to inform, spark change, and help make the invisible, visible.

In recent years, television shows like Glee, American Horror Story & Breaking Bad have introduced actors with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, these occurrences are still far too rare. Films about I/DD are often assumed to be depressing or unappealing. However, what you gain from attending a Sprout Film Festival is the realization that these stories are human stories that capture both the joys and complexities of life. The films screened illustrate that our similarities are far greater than our differences.

The New York festival has grown considerably over the last 12 years in both size and recognition. Each year the festival showcases a new group of films, spanning multiple genres, and from filmmakers from all over the world. In 2006, Sprout began taking the films on tour, allowing agencies to select highlights from each year of the SFF and to tailor their specific festival by theme or general interests.

As a proud representative of Sprout, I applaud The Arc Baltimore for appreciating the value of these films and using them as catalysts for change in the community.

Get more info about Baltimore’s 3rd Annual Sprout Film Festival: http://bit.ly/1u3EnvD

Find out more about Sprout at www.sproutflix.org

Harriet retired last year as the long-time executive director of The Arc of Southern Maryland where she started the first of the local Sprout film festivals in Maryland.

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