Westbury Times: Film Student Geoffrey Kappenberg Makes News

Geoffrey Kappenberg, a sophomore from Westbury, New York (Long Island), has written, directed, and produced “Finding Fred”, a 10 minute documentary selected for screening at the 2011 Sprout Film Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Geoffrey Kappenberg, a film student at Pace, talks about his struggles as a student on the autism spectrum.

From Westbury Times:

“Geoffrey Kappenberg, a third-year film student at Pace University, also had to attend school out of state and dubbed his schooling “one educational disaster after another.

“We know that the parents of children on the autism spectrum have been as misunderstood and controversial as the autism spectrum itself. You have the massive challenge of balancing support with independence and responsibility, and for that, we thank you,” said Kappenberg, who humbly and humorously estimated that his parents drove a total of 160,000 miles during the course of his time at his past residential school just to stay involved in his education.

“This was far from an elite boarding school. It felt like a punishment and made me feel stigmatized for being on the autism spectrum. Its limitations and restrictions left me with an inadequate academic and social foundation out of high school,” said Kappenberg.”

Read the full article:

Westbury’s Westbrook Prep Residential School Celebrates With Ribbon Cutting.

Kappenberg was wrote, directed, and produced “Finding Fred”, a 10 minute documentary selected for screening at the 2011 Sprout Film Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this spring. The film is one of the oral history projects on individuals with disabilities, which students produce each semester in Seidenberg’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems courses, in partnership with AHRC New York City. Kappenberg was a student in Professor Jim Lawler’s Fall 2010 “Community Engagement through Information Systems and Technologies” course.

From Broadway World:

In 1972, New Yorkers and the nation were shocked by TV reports from a then-unknown journalist, Geraldo Rivera, on a human “snake pit” – the Willowbrook State School for “children with mental retardation,” where children were shown sitting unclothed in barren wards, sometimes smeared by their own feces.

Now nearly 40 years later, one of the people who was placed in Willowbrook has surfaced in a documentary by a Pace University film and screen studies student.

Geoffrey Kappenberg, a sophomore from Westbury, New York (Long Island), has written, directed, and produced “Finding Fred”, a 10 minute documentary selected for screening at the 2011 Sprout Film Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Saturday, April 30 at 2:30.

“Finding Fred” shows the development of love, admiration, and enormous devotion between two brothers once separated by Willowbrook, where scandal brought nationwide attention to the conditions of the developmentally disabled in state care.

Original post here.

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