To celebrate International Day of Disabled People, the Together! 2021 Disability Film Festival was delighted to present UK premieres of three new films about Disabled people from around the world: entrepreneurs in Ghana (you can still watch this film below); an artivist in Brazil; and aspiring filmmakers in India.
The programme also included Together! 2012 CIC Chair Julie Newman in conversation with filmmakers Shweta Gosh and Priyanka Pal (We Make Film India. 2021. 80m. European Premiere) about disability, filmmaking and inclusion.
Abilities, Life of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities in Ghana. Martinson Assafuah-Chemel. Ghana. 2021. 18m. European Premiere. In English with English captions and Sign language. DDD. Growing up in Africa, I noticed most of the stories written or shown on screens about persons with disabilities in Africa have been about their vulnerabilities, incapabilities and their need to beg for alms. But as an entrepreneur, designer and filmmaker with a disability, I knew that could not be the whole story. So at the end of 2020, one of the most challenging years in modern society, I set off to tell a different story. A story about abilities and success in the face of disabilities in Ghana. Click here to view with Sign Language.
Muros da vida (Walls of life). Zoran Djordjevic. Brazil. 2021. 15m. UK Premiere. In Portugese with English captions. D. The documentary registers fragments of the life of the artist Marcos Santos, who was born with cerebral palsy. Marcos uses his left foot to create art, and teaches the children from his poor and stigmatized neighborhood, Campos dos Alemães, to paint and bring art to the grey walls of the streets.
We Make Film. Shweta Ghosh. India. 2021. 80m. European Premiere. In English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Indian Sign Language, with English captions. FFF. DD.
Set in contemporary urban India, We Make Film explores the creative journeys of three d/Deaf and Disabled film/video-makers: Debopriya Ghosh, Mijo Jose and AnujaSankhe. The film highlights the (in)accessibility of film and video technology, the barriers to film consumption and education for d/Deaf and Disabled filmmakers in India, and the ways in which the protagonists articulate their creative vision.
These stories of struggle and innovation are documented via workshops initiated by the filmmaker-researcher, Shweta Ghosh, in summer 2018. Developed collaboratively with each filmmaker-participant, these workshops aimed at writing short film scripts based on their experiences with filmmaking and creativity. During the collaborative process, Shweta also begins to reflect on her personal experiences with disability and filmmaking. Shweta’s exploration reveals the ways in which her and other non-disabled filmmakers’ film and creative processes have so far assumed a non-disabled audience and crew, and she begins to contemplate ideas of ally-ship and collaboration that can pave the way for an inclusive creative future for all.
Through a convergence of the four filmmakers’ exploratory journeys, We Make Film attempts to build a conversation on the filmmaking process and product, highlighting the ways in which film audiences, filmmakers and film technology focus on dominant able-bodied perspectives, and what this means for creative expression by Deaf and disabled communities.
Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery. www.filmlondon.org.uk/filmhub