Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Capital Times Newspaper Article by ~Doug Moe

Mary Jo oathout's reaction was succinct: "It Rocks", she was saying this week. Oathout was reacting to the news that she and the principals from her documentary film "What is Normal?" are flying to Washington, DC. today to speak with elected officials and participate in a national symposium on consumer-directed-care for elderly and disabled people. Oathout, who came to Madison four years ago, works for Creative Community Living Services. She'd done some volunteer work at WYOU but had no film experience when, two years ago, she decided to try to get stories of some Madison disabled residents on film. She found an editor- Gretta miller, and the two woman crew put together a film that against all odds became the hit of this year's Wisconsin Film Festival. "A miracle that was meant to be," Oathout said. The documentary played at the Orpheum and more than 1,000 people -including many disabled resident's and their friends-packed the theater. In the film, Oathout interview's five subjects-Mary Ann Shinstine, Darwin Ness, Dan Remick, P.C. Cunningham and Phil Porter. Their stories of institutionalization to productive lives in society brought spontaneous applause from the audience. "There is an undeserved audience," festival director Mary Carbine said at the time. People were craving to see themselves in a positive and realistic manner. It was emotional for the festival staff, the audience and filmmaker."

Monday, February 15, 2010


Wisconsin Film Festival
AFFA International Film Festival CA Raleigh Studios
Hollywood Online Film Festival
Health & Humans Services Independent Choices Symposium
Washington, DC
International Tash Conference, CA
Hollywood Online Film Festival
Sundance 608 Theater Madison, WI
University WI Leadership Institute
Too many to post all.

Monday, January 25, 2010


"What is Normal has a way of touching people deeply and bringing out the best in us as we watch the empowering real life stories unfold. The humanity of the people whose lives unfold in this 56:Minute movie makes it very compelling, as the disability-ability continuum becomes clearer. Recommended for one and all!"
Seema Kapani
Leadership Institute Director Diversity Education Coordinator
Equity and Diversity Resource Center
University of Wisconsin

"We have shown What is Normal? at several conferences here in Wisconsin and other states.The movie has always had a powerful impact on the audience, drawing laughter at the humorous stories as well as tears during the accounts of tragic experiences people had while living in institutions".
Duncan Mc Nelly
UW Wiasman Center
Madison, WI

"What is Normal? is a fantastic film that tells stories that need to be told. The film provides a powerful training tool for direct support staff who need to understand the challenge and the truth about life for people with different abilities in institutions".
Kim Turner
Executive Director
Options in Community Living