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Vinfen Hosts Moving Images Film Festival

Vinfen held its 10th Annual Moving Images Film Festival, Progress from Prejudice, on Saturday, April 1 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.

Despite the snow, sleet, and wind, hundreds of people we serve, professionals, family members, community supporters and Vinfen staff came out for the event, which presented seven films and two panel discussions exploring the prejudice and discrimination that people with psychiatric conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral health challenges often face.

The morning began with short films This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health and Mental Health for All by Involving All. Then, feature film The Anonymous People sought to change public perception and response to the addiction crisis by sharing stories of those in recovery. Following the films, a panel discussion led by Vinfen Metro-Boston Recovery Learning Center Program Director Janel Tan brought together MOAR Executive Director Maryanne Frangules, Somerville Police Department Director of Community Outreach & Harm Reduction Patricia Contente, Dismas House of Massachusetts Attorney Anna Rice, William J. Ostiguy High School Lead Guidance Counselor Joelle Bush, and special guest, co-producer and writer of The Anonymous People Bud Mikhitarian. As a special treat for those in attendance, Bud signed a personal copy of his film’s accompanying book, Many Faces One Voice, for one lucky winner of the prize drawing.

After lunch, guests were treated to the Oscar-nominated documentary Life, Animated. The film detailed the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of Disney animated films. Life, Animated was accompanied by short films Perfect, Love No Matter What, and Brooklyn Love Tales.

The panel discussion that followed was led by Vinfen Supported Employment Director Phoebe Goodman. It brought together Lexington Public Schools Speech Language Pathologist Tim DeLuca, Advocates Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning Jeff Keilson, Department of Developmental Services Director of Family Support Margaret Van Gelder, and Vinfen Vice President of Developmental Disability Services Joe Gomes for a conversation not only identifying the prejudices people with disabilities experience, but proposing means for individuals, providers, communities, and institutions to combat them.

A special thank you to this year’s event sponsors: Shaevel & Krems; MSG Staffing; Parker, Brown, Macaulay, & Sheerin; and Jackson Lewis, and to our Film Festival Committee and volunteers who made this year’s festival such a success.

Save the date for Vinfen’s 11th Annual Moving Images Film Festival on Saturday, March 24, 2018.