Presented as part of the Cinegogue Sessions LIVE! Series, a webinar panel featured Crip Camp filmmakers Jim Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, as well as film subject, and author Judy Heumann, and Bay Area Camp Tawonga alum Maya Herbsman on Thursday May 7, 2020.
NOTE: The livestream was captioned and featured ASL Interpretation
Tune into the JFI Facebook page on Thursday May 7th at 12pm PST for a conversation not to be missed!
Event Sponsors — Diana Grand & Jon Holman
ABOUT THE FILM
No one at Camp Jened could’ve imagined that those summers in the woods together would be the beginnings of a revolution. Just down the road from Woodstock, Camp Jened was a camp for disabled teens. Directors Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht (a former Jened camper himself) deliver a rousing film about a group of campers turned activists who shaped the future of the disability-rights movement and changed accessibility legislation for everyone.
Filled with the spirit, music, and humor of the era, Newnham and LeBrecht speak firsthand to the seeds of empowerment that were planted at Camp Jened. Incredible camp footage from 1971 captures how the campers were finally seen beyond their disabilities. Milestones in the disability-rights movement intersect with LeBrecht’s personal story and the stories of several Camp Jened alums, including then-counselor Judy Heumann. Heumann goes on to drive the effort for disability rights, playing an indispensable role in historic protests leading to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Crip Camp shines a bright light on a paramount and overlooked civil-rights battle, emboldening us to come together and spark great change.
Nicole Newnham is an Emmy-winning producer, director, and writer. She co-directed the Emmy-nominated The Revolutionary Optimists and The Rape of Europa, which was nominated for a Writers Guild Award and shortlisted for an Academy Award. Newnham produced the VR films Collisions, winner of the Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary, and Awavena; both were featured at the Sundance Film Festival and at the World Economic Forum.
Jim LeBrecht is a disability-rights activist, film and theatre sound designer, and author. He is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists, a well-known audio post-production house. His film credits include Minding the Gap, Unrest, The Island President, and Audrie & Daisy. He serves on the board of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.
Judy Heumann is one of the most influential disability rights activists in US history who tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human. A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us and of one woman’s activism — from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington — Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society. Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy’s struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a “fire hazard” to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher’s license because of her paralysis, Judy’s actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people. As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann’s memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.
Maya Herbsman (she/hers) is a Bay Area/Ohlone Land based intimacy director, director, and teaching artist. She is also the Associate Artistic Director and Education Coordinator of Cutting Ball Theater. Maya’s work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and J Magazine, as well as on various podcasts. In 2019, she was nominated for a Theater Bay Area Award marking the first time intimacy direction was recognized as a category on the west coast. Maya’s teaching practice includes play-making, improvisation, scene and monologue study, and theatrical movement to a wide variety of communities and ages including immigrant, unhoused, low-income and migrant populations. She is currently on faculty at Berkeley Repertory Theater, American Conservatory Theater, and Cutting Ball Theater. Favorite intimacy direction credits include Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the American Conservatory Theater MFA Program, TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre Company, Z Space, and San Francisco Playhouse. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Theater, with the Rachel Henderson Memorial Prize in Directing, and is currently pursuing a certificate in Trauma-Informed Care.