It’s A Wrap on The 17th Annual Vinfen Film Festival!

With its torrential rains and howling winds, Saturday, March 23 was perhaps the ideal day to be sitting in a darkened theater, watching the magic of the movies come to life. And that’s exactly what an assembled crowd of nearly 300 people did at GBH Studios in Boston, as Vinfen proudly hosted our organization’s 17th Annual Film Festival. 

Vinfen’s signature event has always used the power of film to raise awareness, educate our community, and fight prejudice and discrimination often faced by people who have mental health conditions, intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities, brain injuries, and behavioral health challenges. And this year’s film festival—the first, live, in-person festival since 2019—was no exception. 

Attendees were able to enjoy a program that consisted of two feature documentaries, Beyond the Wall and Don’t Foil My Plans, and a selection of short documentary and narrative films, including The Beautiful Colors of Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up; My Disability Roadmap; Single; and Planes, Trains, and Canes.   

Each of the features and the block of shorts were followed by thought-provoking and inspiring panel discussions, featuring clinical professionals, filmmakers and individuals with lived experience.  

Audiences were moved by the powerful stories of recovery, relapse and redemption in Beyond the Wall, and had the opportunity to hear from Louie Diaz, a Navigator/Reentry Specialist for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and one of the film’s featured subjects. We were thrilled to welcome Ben Stamper and Justin Canha, the director and star, respectively, of Don’t Foil My Plans, which detailed Justin’s quest for personal independence and success as an artist living with autism. And during the short films panel, attendees got the chance to participate in an engaging discussion about the importance of representation for people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera with filmmakers Reid Davenport, Ashley Eakin, Dan Habib, and Dr. Mona Minkara.  

Whether snacking on fresh-popped popcorn, posing for photos on the red carpet, or just enjoying the films and panels in GBH’s remarkable state-of-the-art theaters, a wonderful time was had by those who attended the 17th Annual Vinfen Film Festival. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Vinfen, Gateway Artist Featured on GBH Digital Mural

March 13, 2024

Andrea Bennett Receives Vinfen’s 2023 Peer Leadership Award

February 22, 2024

Middlesex County Restoration Center Pilot Advances with Selection of Clinical Provider

January 23, 2024

Related Articles

Vinfen, Gateway Artist Featured on GBH Digital Mural

Mar 13, 2024


Dec 28, 2023


Sep 06, 2023