Zeno Mountain films to screen at Holley Hall

BRISTOL — Zeno Mountain Farm is beloved locally for its spirited Fourth of July Parade spectacle, its ebullient summer musical, and its joyful community integrating people with and without disabilities. This integrated community also makes films. To explore Zeno’s philosophy and enjoy a delightful film experience, the public is invited to “Zeno Mountain Farm: Inclusion in Filmmaking” on Thursday, May 9 at Holley Hall from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This event is sponsored by One World Library Project. It is free and handicapped accessible. The Deaf community is encouraged to attend, as there will be an ASL interpreter and the films are captioned.
The program will include Zeno’s 30-minute film “Bulletproof” as well as a short sizzler for “The Homecoming,” a feature-length Zeno-produced film to be released in September this year. Following the screenings, a panel of Zeno community members will offer a brief presentation, and the audience will be engaged in a conversation about inclusion in filmmaking. Time will be available for questioning the panel.
Zeno Mountain Farm is a Lincoln-based nonprofit whose goal is to ensure that people from marginalized groups have access to a community in which they are valued, contributing members. Zeno runs camps and retreats throughout the year for people with disabilities and other marginalized communities.
Zeno’s annual filmmaking camp, which has been running for over fifteen years, includes a fully integrated cast and crew. Disabled individuals comprise 20 percent of the U.S. population but represent less than 2 percent of people seen in media, television and movies. Zeno’s 2012 film “Bulletproof” received increased exposure after the 2014 documentary “Becoming Bulletproof” explored its backstory. “Becoming Bulletproof” toured national and international film festivals and debuted on Showtime.
Homecoming is the first feature-length film ever created with 50 percent disabled talent. Filmed in Lincoln and Bristol, townspeople were invited to join the cast as extras. As Zeno co-director Ila Halby points out, “At Zeno, our experience is that our movies are better and more dynamic because of the diversity in our cast and crew. It makes the process more complex at times, but this is part of the richness of filmmaking at Zeno.”
GEORGE DOKOV AND TURNER Jumonville work on the Zeno set. “Inclusion in Filmmaking at Zeno Mountain Farm” will be presented at Holley Hall on May 9 from 7:00-8:30. The event is free, fully accessible and will include an ASL interpreter.
Photo Courtesy Zeno Mountain Farm
Participants in the Zeno community explain it best. According to AJ, a long-time Zeno member, “At Zeno I feel significance, dignity, and purpose.”
Presenters will include Zeno community members Ila Halby, Hannah Gallivan and Krista Siringo.
Ila Halby is an occupational therapist and the co-founder and co-director of Zeno Mountain Farm. She has created and led integrated programs for the disabled community at Zeno for 19 years. Halby cares deeply about community and the inherent value of each individual.
Hannah Gallivan is a 7th grader at Mt Abe Union Middle School, a Zeno participant, and a disabled advocate. She is active in theater, chorus, and Community Council at Mount Abe and also enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with friends. “My whole world has changed because of Zeno. It’s where I can really be myself, and I’ve met so many amazing people in the community. After a while, you stop feeling sorry and start being inspired.”
Krista Siringo is a Zeno parent and disability advocate. She is a Bristol representative to the Mount Abraham Unified School Board and is also an active volunteer at the elementary school. “Our entire family, and I would argue the Five-Town Community at large, has benefited from having Zeno in our lives. The integration of Zeno into our small corner of Addison County is a model for the way all communities should embrace people with different abilities.”
For more information about this event or One World Library Project, contact the Lawrence Memorial Library at 453-2366 or go to OneWorldLibraryProject.org or the One World Library Project Facebook page.

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