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Canada, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Documentaries)

Director: Shereen Jerrett

Misunderstood, misrepresented, often just missed the mark... nerds come back with their own voice, their own thick-rimmed glasses and their own geeky foibles in a documentary which pulls not a single punch. For too long they've been fictionalised in the movies, no longer the brunt of someone else's vicious humour, Canadian filmmaker (and self-confessed nerd) Shereen Jerrett celebrates those who made it out and made something of themselves. Included in the film are Josh Weinstein, executive director of The Simpsons, Hollywood screenwriter Steven deSouza (48 Hours, Die Hard), Penn Jillette, half of the rebel magician duo Penn & Teller, as well as architects, cartoonists, editors and even a stripper! Their reflections on childhood pain, trauma and humiliation are both confessions and celebrations of difference and what has made them who they are now.

Jerrett's brave documentary revisits those painful years through a clever and original mix of archival footage and candid interviews. Mixed with a rockin' soundtrack and a pace anything but nerdy, the film celebrates the child in us all who still can't catch a ball, wear the right clothes or get a date. Kid Nerd is at times painfully funny and achingly cathartic. Coming out of the nerd-closet - with our shirts tucked in too neatly and trousers riding high - has never been so much fun.

"This isn't a film about victims, this is a film about individuality and finding out how to be who you are. However, I would be lying if I did not admit it was also just a really fun way to meet a bunch of cool people and fool around with some very expensive and funky gear. Sometimes I can't believe I get paid to do this, but then again, I think it's one of the highlights of being a nerd." - Shereen Jerrett

Award-winning filmmaker Shereen Jerrett wore braces from grade four until university, and was nicknamed 'goatwalker' for walking her pet goat around the small town in which she spent her teen years. She has made several acclaimed documentaries, including Taking a Walk with Dad (1991), The Dog Stories (1992) and The Woman Upstairs (1994).

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