Bushwick Film Festival to Premiere Film on Pioneering Experiential Disabilities Course

Audiences will get a first-hand look at how NYU Tandon School of Engineering class transforms lives in the intimate new film, “The Ability Exchange”

The Ability Exchange Film

NYU Tandon School of Engineering Senior Lecturer Allan B. Goldstein’s Disabilities Studies course, where engineering students and self-advocates with cerebral palsy explore how to communicate, connect, and cultivate their abilities by making movies, will be featured in the new documentary “The Ability Exchange.”  

The course is part of the NYU ABILITY Project, which fosters collaboration between engineers, designers, educators, speech and occupational therapists, and individuals with disabilities. The assistive technologies program is one of the many ways the NYU Tandon School of Engineering utilizes technology in service to society.

Described by Indiewire as “an empathy engine,” the award-winning film will make its New York premiere at 411 Troutman Street in Brooklyn on Lot 45 this Saturday, October 1, at noon during the ninth Bushwick Film Festival. A Q&A session with Goldstein and director Bing Wang will follow the screening. To see a trailer for the film and purchase tickets, please visit bushwickfilmfestival.com/event/ability-exchange-directed-bing-wang.

“I was very lucky that such a talented filmmaker was interested in the project,” said Goldstein. “This heartwarming film will inspire audiences and show a different side of engineering students and self-advocates with cerebral palsy, as they harness the power of filmmaking and digital stories to better understand each other and themselves.”

Wang produced, directed, shot, and edited the film, which takes place in an intimate class setting at NYU Tandon in Downtown Brooklyn. Goldstein approached Wang to make the documentary because he wanted to share his method of teaching with others.

Goldstein is a member of the faculty in the Technology, Culture and Society Department at NYU Tandon. He helped establish the Disabilities Studies minor, a multi-school interdisciplinary program intended to educate students about the historical, social, and legal circumstances that shape the experience of disability — and help them discover ways in which they can put their engineering knowledge to use in the field.

Wang was concurrently awarded a master of arts degree from the Cinema Studies Program at the Tisch School of the Arts and a Culture and a media certificate from the Anthropology Department at NYU College of Arts and Science. Beyond his documentary film projects, Wang works as a video production specialist for the Sign Language Center in Manhattan and freelance video editor for a number of organizations including the Guggenheim Museum. Bing grew up in Harbin, China, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The Film Festival runs September 29 - October 2 and will host 27 screenings: 11 documentaries, 10 narratives, 4 short film screenings, a web series screening, and an art house film selection.

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To download images: http://dam.poly.edu/?c=1822&k=86dcea54df

About the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within the country’s largest private research university and is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program.

About the Bushwick Film Festival
From September 29 to October 2nd, The 9th Annual Bushwick Film Festival will host 27 screenings: 11 documentaries, 10 narratives, 4 short film screenings, a web series screening, and an art house film selection. In addition to film screenings, guests have the opportunity to attend a series of workshops, events, and panels including a Women In Film Day featuring leading women in the industry and films highlighting women's stories. In addition, Tribeca Film Institute will be hosting a panel during our Industry Series and other panels are seated by industry professionals from ESPN, Vimeo, BRIC TV, Kickstarter, HBO and more. Special festival guests include Marc John Jefferies (Notorious), actress and director Diarra Kilpatrick, (American KOKO), Elizabeth Wood (White Girl) and Romas Zabarauskas (You Can’t Escape Lithuania). For a full list of festival events and screenings visit www.bushwickfilmfestival.com