“Deej” Tells Inspirational Story of a High School Student with Autism Who Defied All Odds to Become an Advocate for Others

Bailey Hall Film Series screens the documentary Deej on Feb. 15

Davie, Fla. (February 5, 2018) – The Bailey Hall Film Series screening of the documentary DEEJ, which follows a non-speaking high school student with autism who has found a uniquely powerful voice through his text-to-voice synthesizer, on Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The story is told largely by DJ Savarese ("Deej") who discovers what having a voice can truly mean as he embraces filmmaking and poetry and advocates on behalf of others.  Living with a loving adoptive family after being abandoned by his birth parents, he makes his way through high school and dreams of college while confronting the terrors of his past and obstacles to inclusion.

In a statement about the film, Deej wrote, "I won the lottery when my parents adopted me from foster care; I won it again when they included me in regular education. Now, I seek to help kids much less fortunate than I by showing people what a nonspeaking student with autism can do."

Director Robert Rooy will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and his work following this screening that is part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.

In discussing his films subject, Rooy said, "He burned with an inner fire to 'find freedom' in his own life and to 'break barriers' for others like him. While he had come so far from a tormented past, what was striking was how far he wanted to go."

The trailer is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x7wDqtsE3Y.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Bailey Hall Film Series continues with Purple Dreams, (March 15) and Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (April 12).

The Bailey Hall Film Series is presented in the Bailey Hall Jazz Club format, offering a more intimate experience in which the audience sits on the stage for an 'up close and personal' interaction with the filmmaker. Ticket holders receive a complimentary beverage to enjoy during the film to add to the casual lounge atmosphere.

Tickets to DEEJ are $10 and student and senior discounts are also available. Tickets are available for purchase by visiting www.baileyhall.org or contacting the Bailey Hall box office at (954) 201-6884. The box office and phone lines are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and one hour prior to an event. 

The flagship venue of Broward College, Bailey Hall is located on the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus at 3501 Davie Rd. in Davie and offers free parking.

– BC –



Serving approximately 56,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit  www.broward.edu.