February 19, 2018 - 6:30 pm
The Tropic Cinema is proud to be a Screening Partner for the 2017-18 Southern Circuit, a touring festival bringing the best of new independent film to communities across the South. Our 2018 slate of Southern Circuit films kicks off with director Robert Rooy’s DEEJ, a unique hybrid of documentary, poetry, animation and advocacy.
Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving adoptive family, but also a uniquely powerful voice through his text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, Deej confronts the terrors of his past, obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes-arresting beauty of his own senses. Deej embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.
In this first-of-its kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autistic, Robert Rooy and DJ share editorial control as they navigate the challenges of representing autism. DEEJ, the result of this often difficult partnership, is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ — not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera. At its core, Deej reflects the level of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: “Nothing about us without us.”
All Southern Circuit screenings will feature appearances by filmmakers, actors and/or documentary subjects. Watch this page or follow Tropic Cinema on Facebook for details as they are confirmed.