On Feb. 12, ESPN GameDay featured a heartwarming story of Frank Kineavy and Nick Gaynor, two Villanova University students who are overcoming the physical, academic, and social challenges of cerebral palsy to study at Villanova and be involved in campus life as managers for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Frank and Nick are also the focus of a new documentary, ‘Coming Off the DL.’ Produced by students in Villanova’s Center for Social Justice Film, the documentary is changing the way people see ability. Frank uses a keyboard to communicate and both he and Nick use wheelchairs to get around. While their circumstances and paths to Villanova differ, the stories of these two young men, presented together, show viewers what students with disabilities are capable of when provided the chance to fully participate in campus life. (Watch the Coming Off the DL movie trailer)
Not only has Coming Off the DL helped break down society's misguided assumptions of people with disabilities, but it continues to make an impression on film festivals across the world. The documentary was most recently invited to the 2011 Heart of Gold International Film Festival, March 17-20 in Gympie, Australia, and the 2011 Peace on Earth Film Festival, Feb. 25-27, at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Villanova documentary was also invited to participate in the 2011 Garden State Film Festival, March 31-April 3 in Asbury Park, N.J. In addition, the film was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject Concept honors at the 2011 L.A. Reel Film Festival.
Villanova’s Center for Social Justice Film is housed within the University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society. The Center for Social Justice Film allows students from all majors the unique opportunity to learn about filmmaking through hands-on training in real-world situations, and then use their experience to create documentaries that explore important issues facing society.