Nominated this year for an Academy Award® in the category of best documentary feature, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” follows the birth of the disability rights movement. The film starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a camp for teens with disabilities and focuses on how those campers become activists in their fight for accessibility legislation.

Join Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday in conversation with the film’s directors, writers and producers Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht.


Jim LeBrecht, director of “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” was once a camper at Camp Jened, the camp featured in the documentary. “I had a sense of freedom there and acceptance and joy that I rarely ever had outside of that camp…but it was a product of its time. We were questioning all these different liberation movements and, you know, why not us.” (Washington Post Live)
“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” was one of the first project picked up by Higher Ground, the production company founded by Barack and Michelle Obama. Director Nicole Newnham shares what that partnership was like and the editing notes she received from the Obamas. (Washington Post Live)


Nicole Newnham, Director, Writer, Producer, “Crip Camp”

NICOLE NEWNHAM (Writer, Director and Producer) is an Emmy-winning documentary producer and director, four-time Sundance Film Festival alumnus and five-time Emmy-nominee. She has recently produced two virtual reality films with the Australian artist /director Lynette Wallworth: the breakthrough VR work Collisions , which won the 2017 Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary, and Awavena, featured at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Nicole co-directed The Revolutionary Optimists, winner of the Sundance Hilton Sustainability Award. She also co-directed and co-produced the acclaimed documentary The Rape of Europa, about the Nazi war on European culture, for which she was nominated for a WGA award and shortlisted for the Academy Award. With Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Brian Lanker, she produced They Drew Fire, about the Combat Artists of WWII, and co-wrote the companion book, distributed by Harper Collins.

Jim LeBrecht, Director, Writer, Producer, “Crip Camp”

JIM LEBRECHT (Writer, Director and Producer) has over 40 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author, disability rights activist and filmmaker.

Jim started his career in the theater, working as the resident sound designer at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for 10 years.

In 1989 he found a new home at the Saul Zaentz Film Center where he started out as an apprentice and worked his way up the ladder to become a sound designer, mixer and sound supervisor.

In 1996, LeBrecht founded Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio post production house. He quickly found a home in the documentary and independent film community.

LeBrecht and BSA’s credits include some notable films. Just some of the titles that have garnered acclaim are The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won the Academy Award for short documentary in 2006, Minding The Gap, Unrest, The Force, The Island President, The Waiting Room, The Kill Team, Daughter From Danang, The Cockettes, We Were Here, and Audrie and Daisy.

Jim co-authored Sound and Music for the Theatre: the art and technique of design. Now in its 4th edition, the book is used as a textbook all over the world.

Jim’s work as an activist began in high school and continues to this day. Jim is currently a board member at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, which works for the rights of the disabled through education, legislation and litigation.

LeBrecht lives in Oakland, California and is married to Crip Camp producer Sara Bolder.