Deej is the story of DJ Savarese (“Deej”), a gifted, young writer and an advocate for nonspeaking autistics. Once a “profoundly disabled” foster kid seemingly on the fast track to nowhere, DJ is now a first year college student with a burning desire to stand up for those whose neurological differences cause others to summarily dismiss them as incompetent, often “housing them in classrooms of easy lessons.” As writer and co-producer of Deej, he seeks to quell deep-seated fears and heal old wounds while giving others like him a voice:
This movie reassesses hope. Yes, yes, hope is not easy or free. Yes, hope is hard…. Not a sweet, dear, hopeful collection, our film asks hope to survive challenges and to hear our dear selves freed. — DJ Savarese
Deej is a compelling story on many levels. It’s the courageous quest of a passionate young man to “find freedom” for himself and others like him. It’s a dramatic coming-of-age story in an intense, pressure-filled environment. It’s an inspiring love story that includes his adoptive parents, a devoted extended family, and a community of close friends, many of whom live with their own disabilities. And, it’s a deep, unflinching exploration of what it really takes to make the goals of “inclusion” and “disability rights” a reality.
- Robert RooyProducer/Director
- David James SavareseProducer/Writer