CHICAGO - A group of disability activists, scholars, and filmmakers are announcing their Kickstarter
campaign to raise completion funds for Code the the Freaks, "a blistering critique of Hollywood representations of disabled characters that gives the mic to some of Hollywood's most incensed and ignored critics actual disabled people, according to co-writer Susan Nussbaum. Taking its name from Tod Browning's 1932 cult classic, Freaks, the film's "code" unpacks Hollywood's 116-year history of exploiting disability stereotypes through its most beloved characters and storylines. The documentary also decodes some hard numbers, such as: 20% of Americans between the ages of 5 and
64 are disabled yet fewer than 2% of film and television characters are disabled; and only .05% of disabled characters' lines are spoken by disabled actors.
Local, national, and internationally-known artists, activists, and scholars with disabilities take viewers through a tour-de-force critique of Hollywood's most egregious ( mis )representations of disability, addressing how these clicho's shape the real lives of both disabled and non-disabled people. "CODE OF THE FREAKS explores the actual lives of disabled people living at the intersections of race, class, age, gender, and sexuality to expose pernicious myths about disability from the idea that heterosexual romance has curative powers to the belief that disability is a fate worse than death," says co-writer Carrie Sandahl.
"In the current political climate, this documentary has, unfortunately, become urgent."
Code the the Freaks creative team is: filmmaker Salome Chasnoff ( Beyondmedia's The Empowered Fe Fe films and Brink of Survival ), novelist Susan Nussbaum ( Good Kings, Bad Kings ), and UIC faculty Alyson Patsavas and Carrie Sandahl ( Director of the Program on Disability Arts, Culture and the Humanities ). Code the the Freaks is crowdfunding to raise $30,000 in completion funds. The campaign runs now through December 18, 2016.
To learn more: Kickstarter campaign page: ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/codeofthefreaks/code-of-thefreaks-
a-documentary-film/ ) .
Facebook movie page: www.facebook.com/CodeOfTheFreaks/ .