Kickstart and BACI see new potential in expanding filmmaking by people who have a disability
Thursday March 29, 2012 — Camille Jensen
It’s been less than a week since the inaugural Wide Angle Media (WAM) festival took place, but the event is already inspiring new possibilities for two organizations who co-hosted the event.
Geoff McMurchy, artistic director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, says he’s “very happy” with the outcome of WAM, which in addition to screening international films made by people who have a disability, was able to contribute five commissioned shorts to the canon of disability art in film.
But as curator for WAM, the first festival in British Columbia to feature films made by people who have a disability, Geoff says he realized how difficult it is to find films made or written by people who have an intellectual disability. It’s an insight he’s now eager to change.
“I’m really inspired after the festival to engage BACI (Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion) and posAbilities in the actual production of a film maybe for the next festival in two years,” Geoff tells BACI Blast.
“I think it would be very exciting and would be a great collaborative project and something that I think would further BACI and posAbilities aims in terms of utilizing the media in a powerful way to get that normalization message across in different and creative ways.”
Richard Faucher, BACI’s executive director, agrees that WAM can open new doors for people who have a disability in film. He’d like to build on the relationships started at WAM between organizations that support people who have a disability and the film industry, which saw representatives from Canada Council for the Arts, Super Channel, the National Film Board of Canada and TeleFilm Canada attend.
“We see a real opportunity here to take our new relationship with this group of folks that we met at the festival and advance the opportunity for people with disabilities to be behind the camera, to be in a producing role, to be directing,” says Richard.
“It’s exciting for us because we think there is value to combine art and what we are trying to do around inclusion.”
Richard also mused about the potential for new films to be created by people who have a disability in time for the next WAM film festival.
“I think there is huge opportunity for people with disabilities at our next film festival to be presenting some films,” says Richard.
WAM took place March 22-25 at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Arts Community Centre.
— More to come on the Wide Angle Media film festival
Did you attend WAM? Please share your comments below, or e-mail camille(at)axiomnews.ca.