Now in its fourteenth year, the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival helps dispel misperceptions about disability by screening films that portray people with disabilities living full lives. Film entries should avoid stereotypical representations. Instead, the festival seeks imaginative, multifaceted portrayals of people with disabilities.

We welcome submissions from filmmakers at all levels, including professional, independent, student, and amateur. Filmmakers of any age may enter the competition.

Films may be entered in either the documentary or non-documentary division. Documentary films provide factual accounts of a disability or a person with a disability, while non-documentary entries are fictional. Non-documentary films  can be of any genre, including comedy, music video, animation, science fiction, horror, or silent film.

Awards & Prizes

The following prizes are awarded in each division.

• Grand Prize: $500 USD
• Second Place: $250 USD
• Third Place: $100 USD

The  top three winning films in each category will be shown at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas during the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival October 13 - 14, 2017. The films also have a chance to win an Audience Favorite Award in their division.

Rules & Terms

Rules for Submission

Films must be received by 12:00 a.m. on Friday, August 18, 2017. The following requirements are mandatory for all submissions.

1. Each film must be between three and twenty minutes long (not including credits).
2. Each film must be submitted exclusively in .mp4 format.
3. Each film must have subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
4. The film may NOT have been previously submitted to the Cinema Touching Disability Short Film Competition.
5. The film must either be about, star, or be made by a person with a disability.
6 Films must not be demeaning or discriminatory or they will be disqualified from the competition

 Judgment Criteria

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

1. Did the film address disability in a creative and interesting way?
2. Was disability represented in a multifaceted, rather than simplistic, way?
3. Were disability stereotypes avoided?
4. How thought-provoking or challenging is this film regarding disability? This might include how informative the film is, whether it presents new ways of thinking about disability, and/or raises interesting points about it.

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Simon Mckeown

    Great festival, with wonderful selection of interesting films, looking at a really important area, in clever, different and unusual ways. Cinema to make you think.

    December 2016
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    Paul Zehrer

    Thank you for all your kindness and willingness to support our film and celebrate people with developmental disabilities living meaningful live.

    November 2016
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    Peter Ercolano

    Great Festival! Although I could not attend in person, I felt like I was there thanks to the Director of the festival William Greer who kept me closely updated on the events. There should be more festivals like this one!

    November 2016
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    Nick Spark

    Very well run festival that had great media support, and sold out venues. William Greer, who organized the festival, was with us every step of the way and went the extra mile to make our screening successful. Can't say enough about him, the PWD community in Austin, or this niche festival.

    May 2016