By Robert Rooy and David James Savarese. A co-production of Independent Television Service.
DEEJ is the story of DJ Savarese (“Deej”), a gifted, young writer and advocate for nonspeaking autistics. DJ Savarese is himself the commentator and co-producer of DEEJ.
Once a “profoundly disabled” foster kid on a fast track to nowhere, Deej is now a first-year college student who insists on standing up for his peers: people who are dismissed as incompetent because they are neurologically diverse. He argues forcefully they are too often “housed in classrooms of easy lessons.” DEEJ tells a coming-of-age story that showcases a young man’s resolve and creativity in forging strong bonds with his parents, his devoted extended family, and a community of close friends. Profound and unflinching, the film reveals what it takes to make the goals of “inclusion” and “disability rights” a reality. Will Deej be able to find freedom in his own life and for others like him?