Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New film documents 12 years in the life of disability theatre group, PHAMALY

From the filmmaker, Mark Dissette:

“There’s Still Hope for Dreams, a PHAMALY Story,” is a documentary film following the journey of the theatrical group PHAMALY (Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League).

Filmed on location over a 12 year time period in Denver, Colorado, this takes you on a journey of hope, where dreams are pursued and great challenges are overcome despite physical disabilities.

In Denver, CO, there is a theater group that is unique to the world called PHAMALY (Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artist League), comprised entirely of disabled performers. Because they found rejection in the mainstream artistic community, they built a theatrical group of their own.

Each summer, since 1990, PHAMALY has mounted a major musical production with a group of amazingly talented cast and crew. Despite their disabilities (Parkinson's, Cerebral Palsy, blindness, paralyzation or amputations, plus many other disabilities), PHAMALY tackles theatrical productions that were originally choreographed for people who can move both feet and arms, dance freely across the stage, who can see, hear and talk.

The film follows the PHAMALY cast as they mount their latest productions, “Urinetown, The Musical” and “Side Show.” It is a path that will challenge and alter how you think and feel about the creative world and the world of people with disabilities.

“There's Still Hope for Dreams - A PHAMALY Story” reveals the beauty of a dance with seven blind actors or the gracefulness of a wheel chair moving across the stage. In a world that resonates with the pain and suffering in reality, we reveal that There’s Still Hope For Dreams.

Background information

It was more than 20 years ago that director/writer/actor/stuntman, Mark Dissette joined the group PHAMALY, after becoming disabled from a five-story fall from a building during a film project.

Once he walked into the doors of PHAMALY, he knew he had found something beyond extraordinary. He was moved by the internal drive and motivation of these disabled performers to portray their talents. Once he saw the challenges this group of performers takes on and overcomes, he knew he wanted to let others know, around the world, about their story of hope and their determination to pursue their dreams, despite handicaps such as Parkinson's, blindness, deafness, paralyzation, amputations, etc.

He began working on a documentary film highlighting PHAMALY. He knew this story would bring hope to others globally--not only to disabled communities, but to everyone. “We all face adversity and challenges in our professional and personal lives. This film brings the message that we can all pursue our dreams, no matter what kind of challenges we face,” says Dissette.

Denver, CO
Terry Austin
9700 East Berry Place, Suite 100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
T: 303.808.8008