Love and Other Disabilities

We speak to inspiring filmmaker Genevieve Clay about shooting the short film Beautiful which celebrates the talents of people with a disability.

a3057d9da6374dcd1610.jpg

"Many people don't take the romantic relationships people with disabilities have seriously," Aussie filmmaker Genevieve Clay tells FILMINK. "They are in fact valid loving relationships sometimes maintained a lot better than other people - just look at the divorce rate! Why should anyone judge a person's relationship as valid or real if they've got a disability, particularly when that relationship is thriving?"

It was this line of thinking which led Clay to co-write and direct Beautiful, a short film which explores the relationship between Amber and Raphael, two individuals living with a disability, and their journey toward acceptance from their family and wider society.

Beautiful was created through the Different Lens Project, an inclusive filmmaking initiative inspired by Melbourne's The Other Film Festival which presents new cinema by, with and about people with a disability. A selection of six short films from The Other Film Festival will screen alongside Beautiful at the National Film and Sound Archive in celebration of International Day of People with Disability on December 3.

Having shot the Tropfest winning film Be My Brother, a story about a young man with Down Syndrome and Frances and Annie which also challenged social prejudices toward persons with disabilities, Clay was approached to oversee the project. The talented director seized the opportunity to employ some of the strategies she had been developing to aid persons with disabilities in the creative field.

 "We held different workshops for people to learn about filmmaking and acting," Clay explains. "We wrote the script for the chosen actors so the film can be a platform to showcase their strengths and we had a fully inclusive cast and crew at the end of the process. They're strategies I've been working on developing, so that more inclusive films can be made."

An intense but hugely rewarding shoot, Clay was assisted by two aspiring filmmakers. "I had two wonderful director's attachments, Ben Harris and Lucas Li, who I mentored throughout the process with the idea of the next project being left in their hands. We pumped it out in two days!"

Clay knows better than anyone that the film industry is a difficult biz to crack, whether you have a disability or not. "It's hard enough for actors without disabilities to get work let alone if you're an actor who does have a disability. An experience like this is incredibly valuable."

Indeed the experience was a valuable one for people both behind and in front of the camera. "I think that our two leads developed their craft further, and they got an experience and opportunity that they hadn't had before. People who are interested in pursuing a career behind the scenes were also able to experience a pro set, and be mentored by professionals too. It was valuable in networking, experience, skill building and exposure."

While the screening at the National Film and Sound Archive on December 3 has sold out, those wishing to see Beautiful can contact Caro Roach or Genevieve Clay for a copy. The short film will also be put online in the near future. Keep up to date on the Arts ACT website.

 

comments powered by Disqus
follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest features

The Films That Changed My Life: Jeff Tremaine

The director behind the 'Jackass' franchise counts down the ten flicks that changed the game for him.

Into The Dark

Edgar Ramirez fights bad guys of a decidedly more demonic bent in the horror thriller, 'Deliver Us From Evil'.

Family History

A true labour of love, the new documentary, ‘Once My Mother’, represents a salving of old family wounds for director, Sophia Turkiewicz.

From The Vault: Ben Mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn’s career has turned red hot since ‘Animal Kingdom’, and FilmInk revisits an interview with the actor from 1998 when he was still looking to make his mark.

latest reviews

Guardians Of The Galaxy
Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel’s biggest gamble yet has paid off, with this freewheeling and joyously offbeat superhero blockbuster.

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

Stretched beyond its sitcom formula, d’jokes begin to wear a little thin.

Hercules (3D)
Hercules (3D)

Director Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson deliver a solid popcorn flick, which succeeds in the action and humour stakes.

Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer

The characters come second to its ingenious premise, but it still rates as a riveting blockbuster.