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Diversity fest and disability



This is a re post from my personal film blog. I am not just trying to get traffic to my site. I just wanted to share this with follow bronies because I mentioned Lauren Faust in it. 

I was once again invited to the KCC Diversity Festival. We originally planned to screen the new film “A Stroke Of Endurance” for the festival but since “A Stroke Of Endurance” is not released yet we came up with the plan of showing “Drama Sighted” and a few, brand new exclusive promotional clips from “A Stroke Of Endurance”. The clips included a rough version of a trailer. I spoke about the films at the beginning and end of the presentation and did a Q&A. 


The first few questions were about technical aspects to the film like what kind of camera was used and what aspect ratio the films were in. Then someone asked if I was inspired by anyone in the media. I told them I was inspired by Lauren Faust’s writing style. I study her writing style in MLP and ask myself why it works. Someone asked if I had ever seen bullying like in the “Drama Sighted” film happen at KCC, luckily the answer was no. I got some questions about how I planned to expand my work out to others.  I told them that I plan to take “A Stroke Of Endurance” and the other films to campuses and organizations and of course keep uploading them to youtube to reach people. Then I got the usual questions about why I cast disabled actors and how I started making films. I told the story of how “Drama Sighted” went from being a play to a film, how I learned basic filmmaking from scratch and branched out. I told them I cast disabled actors because I believe it makes the performance more authentic. I feel that while able bodied actors try to learn to do disabled roles well by researching etc they often do not understand the experience of the disabled character, and won’t emote or express body language with the effected part of the body.  Like an actor imitating spasticity will hold still whereas an actor with spasticity in real life will still move that part of the body. I told them how disabled actors had expressed to me that they often feel they have to hide their disabilities get roles and how I had encouraged the actors to let the disability related parts of their body language show through, as long as they did it “in character” during shooting.


The response to the “A Stroke Of Endurance” clips was very encouraging. At the end one of the audience members approached me to ask me questions about how to communicate about her disability with a friend of hers who is also disabled.  I’m glad that my films could help her and the other audience members understand disability and a little bit more of the human story. I  really hope to come back and screen “A Stroke Of Endurance” in spring! Super special thanks to Kingsborough Community College for organizing, and inviting me to the festival! 


I have permission from Kingsborough Community College to write this post!




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