Imagine a world with complete accessibility.

“Mark – A Call to Action” is the story of Dr. Mark Bookman, a severely disabled Pennsylvania-born American who later resided in Tokyo full-time, becoming one of Japan’s leading experts on accessibility, and a policy consultant to governments and major corporations around the world. His tireless efforts helped raise awareness and positively impacted the lives of not only disabled persons, but also children, seniors and vulnerable populations in the United States, Japan and many other nations.

While the film tells the story, the biography of Dr. Mark Bookman (born and raised in Bryn Mawr, PA), it is more importantly a deep look into the development of global accessibility. According to the World Health Organization (2023) 16% of the world’s population is designated as disabled. That’s 1.3 billion people from every country, every race and every religion.

“He [Mark] uplifted the voices of persons with disabilities and showcased to the world that our voices are not just needing to be taken care of but our voices need to be heard, valued and brought forward.” Sara Minkara, US State Department Special Advisor

“Successfully portrays the personal, political and social impact of the development of global accessibility” —Nagase Osamu, Professor, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

Mark: A Call to Action premiered in Tokyo in February 2024 followed by it’s U.S. premier in June 2024 to sold out audiences at The Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

With much sadness, Mark passed away following the completion of principal photography of the film but his legacy and impact will live on for many years to come.

“Like the talented activist he was, Bookman had a way of making his point clearly and forcefully.” – Dr. David McNeill, Professor, University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo.

Those interviewed and featured in the film include:

  • Mark Bookman, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Tokyo College
  • Paul Bookman, DMD, Founder, Bryn Mawr Dental Associates, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (Mark’s Father)
  • Rachel Bookman, Biologist and Researcher (Mark’s sister)
  • Victor Dover, FAICP, Dover, Kohl & Partners, Noted expert on City Planning, Neighborhood and Street Design, Miami, Florida
  • Josh Grisdale, Founder,, Tokyo, Japan
  • Gregory Hannah, Director of Disability Service, Villanova University
  • Ryo Hatakeyama, Professional Caregiver, Tokyo, Japan
  • Yoshihiko Kawauchi, PhD, Architect, Engineer and Author, International Expert on Universal Design, Tokyo, Japan
  • Masako Okuhira, Global Disability Advocate, Tokyo, Japan
  • Nagase Osamu, Professor. Ritsumeikan University, and Author, Kyoto, Japan, Global Advocate – Rights of People with Disabilities
  • Ayako Kano, PhD, Professor, Japanese Literature, Performance and Gender Studies
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Steven Wright, International Disability Advocate, Consultant and Author, Miami, Florida
  • Richard Donner, MD, Pediatric Cardiologist (Retired), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Kevin Ginsberg, Educator, Black Rock Middle School, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
  • Frank Mondelli, PhD, Assistant Professor – Japanese Studies, University of Delaware
  • Newark, Delaware
  • Sara Minkara, Special Advisor on International Disability Rights, US State Department
  • Karen Nakamura, Professor of Anthropology, Director, UC Berkeley Disability Lab
  • University of California at Berkeley,
  • Fangdan Li, Mark’s Fiancée
  • Carolyn Stevens, PhD, Professor of Japanese Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Hindley Williams, Program Analyst, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Wasna Dabbagh, DMD, Orthodontist, (Mark’s Stepmother)

Produced by GLIDE Fund (The Mark Bookman Foundation), a 501 (C) (3) organization, and Directed by Emmy Award Winning Director Ron Small (I Danced for the Angel of Death), GLIDE Fund has an important socially relevant mission: GLIDE stands for ‘Global Leaders in International Disability Education’. The organization was established to provide financial assistance to disabled college students interested in education exchange experiences to foster an inclusive society in which anyone can lead an independent and self-determined life. All contributions to the Fund are fully tax deductible as allowed by law in each state. The organization’s goal is to carry on the legacy of Dr. Mark Bookman and spark dialogue surrounding the ways architects, engineers, educators, policy makers and other interested parties can help improve access to built environments, and through the GLIDE Fund, a network of disabled University students will receive grants to travel globally to learn, train, and be motivated to share ideas and bring about greater change and awareness in the community throughout the world.

The DVD version of the film features extensive and important bonus material.

Documentary / 2024 / 85 minutes / Color / English Language / A film by Emmy Award winning director Ron Small (I Danced for the Angel of Death, Circle Unbroken, From the Holocaust to Hollywood).


Public Performance and Digital Site Licenses are available through Soundview Media Partners. To inquire or to place an order, write to or simply choose from the options below:

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Watch the trailer

At the world premiere in Japan, an emissary from the U.S. State Department provided an introduction to the film which now also serves as the film’s opening. Please watch it as it provides great perspective: