VILLANOVA, Pa. – Students in Villanova University’s Center for Social Justice Film have walked alongside an ex-con inspiring others to create a better life, followed a teenage Burmese immigrant as he confronts the challenges of a new country, and told the story of two students with cerebral palsy who have overcome the prejudice and fears of others to excel in the classroom and as managers for the Villanova men’s and women’s basketball teams.
And now, they are also recipients of United Cerebral Palsy (UCB) National’s prestigious 2011 Outstanding Youth Award. Recognizing the Center’s efforts towards “filmmaking dedicated to the greater good,” UCP National presented the award to the student director and editor of the short documentary, “Coming off the DL,” at UCP’s annual conference in New Orleans, La.
A product of the Center for Social Justice Film, “Coming off the DL” changes the way people see ability. The film chronicles the journeys of Villanova students Frank Kineavy and Nick Gaynor as they overcome the prejudice of others, as well as the physical, academic and social challenges of cerebral palsy.
The documentary has been recognized by eight film festivals including the Garden State Film Festival (Asbury Park, N.J.), Heart of Gold Film Festival (Gympie, Australia), Hearts and Minds Film Festival (Wilmington, Del.), LA Reel Film Festival (Los Angeles), Life Without Limits Festival (Calgary, Alberta), New Hope Film Festival (New Hope, Pa.), Peace on Earth Film Festival (Chicago), and the West Chester International Film Festival (West Chester, Pa.).
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 the art and craft of filmmaking, and then use their experience to create documentaries that explore important issues and are utilized in the service of social justice. Visit www.wfi.villanova.edu for more information.