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Documentary: Role of the Disabled in Film

By February 18, 2021Uncategorized
Code of the Freaks free virtual film screening, Feb. 21-24

The Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) is proud to present Code of the Freaks, as a free virtual screening that will be available for a four-day viewing period: February 21-24.Once the film is unlocked, viewers will have 24 hours to finish watching their film.

“We are pleased to offer extended viewing periods for the Southern Circuit documentaries this spring. The films explore a variety of topics, and we think our community will find them informing” said Laura Howell, Executive Director of the BPAC.

Please visit for more details and to register for free.

Code of the Freaks, a feature-length documentary, is a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. From The Fake Beggar (1895), Of Mice and Men (1939) and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) to more contemporary films like Million Dollar Baby, Forrest Gump, Avatar, Fences and Me Before You, Hollywood continues to crank out all the old disability clichés and hollow inspirational narratives – what disability activists call “inspiration porn” – that have served so well for more than a century. Code of the Freaks (the title is a line from Tod Browning’s 1932 classic Freaks) counters these formulaic entertainments with a powerful corrective: it dares to imagine a cinematic landscape that takes disabled people seriously. The screening will be followed by a pre-recorded conversation with the Director, Producer Salome Chasnoff.

This film is part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The next free screening that is part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will be Picture Character March 14 – 17, 2021. Picture Character (emojis in Japanese) explores the widespread use and ability to convey complex messages that have not only cemented emoji’s place as an emerging digital language, but prompted difficult questions about the creation of a language and digital communication’s fraught ties to identity and inclusion. The screening will be followed by a pre-recorded conversation with Co-directors Ian Cheney & Martha Shane.

Registration is free to all Southern Circuit films, and all film screenings are followed by a prerecorded conversation with the filmmakers. Visit for additional information about these and other BPAC events or contact the Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

For more information about Southern Circuit and South Arts, please visit