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No Bigger Than A Minute

Director Steven Delano explores dwarfism through images from movies, paintings, and popular culture and through his own experience as a "little person".

A printer-friendly version of this page 53 minutes
Closed Captioned

Directed by Steven Delano
Produced by Steven Delano and Diane Markrow
Writer - Steven Delano
Executive Producers - Brockman Seawell, Diane Markrow, Dirk Olson
Cinematography - James Phelan
Produced by Denver Center Media in association with POV/American Documentary Inc.

"Size matters. Bodies matter. But in "No Bigger Than a Minute," character matters most." Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"My name is Steven. I am 48 years old and I'm a dwarf."

So begins Steven Delano's unusual new documentary, NO BIGGER THAN A MINUTE. What follows is neither an academic discourse on the life and times of America's "little people," nor a project in self-affirmation in the face of social discrimination -- though the film includes healthy doses of both of these. "No Bigger Than a Minute" has tongue-in-cheek re-enactments, a music score structured after Delano's own mutated DNA sequence, short-statured Hollywood stars such as Peter Dinklage ("The Station Agent") and Meredith Eaton ("Family Law") and musicians, rappers, comedians, novelists, doctors and ordinary folk.

NO BIGGER THAN A MINUTE also follows the twists in the story of dwarfism today. Scientists have isolated the genetic mutations for the majority of dwarf cases, and, most astoundingly, have developed tests that detect these mutations in the earliest stages of a fetus's development. The question is inescapable: Is dwarfism a chronic handicap to be eliminated? Or is it valuable human diversity?

Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2007     Copyright Date: 2006
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-699-3     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-698-5

"[Steven] Delano's documentary is the first film about dwarfism...made by someone who actually knows what life under 5 feet is all about...Delano explores the role of little people in popular culture to find out what being a dwarf really means, to himself and to others of short stature."
Marissa Levy, USA Today

"A warm, thoughtful and informative film loaded with wonderful material for class discussion. No Bigger Than A Minute provides a great integration of historic film clips, interviews and on-site footage to document the experiences of dwarfs in the United States. This is educational material that is both entertaining and engrossing, and advocacy without preaching and finger pointing."
Robert Bogdan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Social Science and Education, Syracuse University, Author, Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit

"A terrific film. I love Delano's wry, sensitive, intelligent voice, and his decision to use his own personal biography as a way to explore the vast world of dwarf images and movies and paintings and truths and lies is just brilliant. It gives him a way to weave great interviews...compile a treasure-trove of archival footage, and also ask the toughest questions in the most intimate way - when he asks his own mother if she would have had an abortion, it was so fearless and so unexpectedly tender, it just knocked me out. And the filmmaking was superb too."
John H. Richardson, Author, In the Little World - A True Story of Dwarfs, Love, and Trouble

"Entertaining and informative, a feat many documentaries can't pull off. This is must-see viewing for anyone who wishes to get a glimpse of life as a little person."
Feminist Review

"No Bigger Than a Minute is a poignant, yet upbeat video memoir...The film can easily serve as an excellent teaching tool in an undergraduate Introductory Sociology class or a Sociology of Race, Class and Gender class. The interviews and film clips serve to fully illustrate the issues of socialization, status - ascribed, master and salient, and of course, stereotyping and discrimination. The interviews serve to underscore the importance of the family as a socializing force and the benefits of having a kindly, supportive family and social support system of relatives and peers. In Medical Sociology classes the film can serve as a means to raise questions about the consequences of the 'medicalization' of physical differences...I think the film lends itself to several interactive teaching strategies."
Teaching Sociology

"Fascinating...a compelling hour of warmth, humor and background about the world of little people."
Dusty Saunders, Rocky Mountain News

"While pretty people find things to hate about themselves, a documentary by dwarf Steven Delano explores the challenges of being different."
Molly Willow, The Columbus Dispatch

"Size matters. Bodies matter. But in No Bigger Than a Minute, character matters most."
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

"A moral inventory fashioned as an almost technically perfect account of the resolutely imperfect life and times of a dwarf. It unfolds as sort of a 'shockumentary.' If you are not prepared to embrace the candor and the honesty, it will completely throw you for a loop...A bold and courageous film endeavor."
Eugene Pidgeon, actor, writer, activist

"It is a wonderful piece of work, raising many important questions and providing the opportunity for an instructor or facilitator to raise many more...Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology or sociology, multiculturalism/diversity, disability studies, and medical anthropology/sociology, as well as for public audiences."
Jack David Eller, Metropolitan State College, Anthropology Review Database

"A cast of characters who are witty and wry and a film that would be enjoyed by older teens and adults. Recommended for special and academic libraries; a good addition to any adult collection."
Library Journal

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DVDs include public performance rights.

DVD Features
includes an interview with the filmmaker, additional scenes, extended interviews, bonus music track based on Steven Delano's DNA.

No Bigger Than A Minute's PBS web site
Study guide

Awards and Festivals
National PBS Broadcast on "POV"
CINE Golden Eagle Award
Silver Plaque, Hugo Television Awards
Director's Citation, Black Maria Film and Video Festival
Award of Excellence and Spirit of Superfest Award, Superfest International Disability Film Festival
Best Short Form Documentary, ReelHeART International Film Festival
Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, Film Festival
Woods Hole Film Festival
Dallas Video Festival
Denver International Film Festival
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
American Psychological Association Film Festival

American Studies
Arts and Popular Culture
Film Studies
Media Studies

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