Sprout Film Festival

Julie Chmura, left, development director of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region; Shawn Kros, center, executive director of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region; and Anthony Di Salvo, founder and executive director of the Sprout Film Festival, stand together with a poster advertising the Sprout Film Festival. (October 13, 2013)

On Sept. 29, Harford County residents gathered at The Highlands School in Bel Air for the first Sprout Film Festival, which starred and shared the stories of people living with autism, Asperger's syndrome, Down syndrome and other disabilities.

The festival raised $3,500 for The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, and organizers plan to make this an annual event.

The one-day festival featured two 90-minute showings, each comprised of nine short films that depicted the lives of individuals living with developmental disabilities. Sprout Film Festival founder Anthony Di Salvo attended the event to introduce the films and answer audience questions.

According to Julie Chmura, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region development director, the festival was a success and gave the organization a platform to showcase and highlight the abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Sign up to receive our free daily email newsletter: Bel Air Today

"I thought the event was great," concurs Elio Scaccio of Palumbo Insurance Associates, who attended the Sprout Film Festival with his two daughters. "I was very impressed with the quality of films and how inspirational, moving and eye-opening they were. My girls and I had the opportunity to talk about the movies on the ride home, so that was nice."

"The Sprout Film Festival would not have been possible without the support and generosity of our sponsors and the Cultural Arts Board," Chmura said. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, including direct level sponsors Dimensional Health Care Associates, Elegant Restoration and Goddard School; talent level sponsors Palumbo Insurance Associates and Wilmot Modular Structures; and concession level sponsor WSM&T Insurance."

To learn more about The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, visit http://www.arcncr.org. or for more details on the films shown at the festival, visit http://gosprout.org/newfilm/all_films_A_M.