The BFI Doc Society Fund and FWD-Doc: Filmmakers with Disabilities have collaborated to create an industry resource to better ensure disabled-accessible and disabled-inclusive documentary filmmaking and exhibition.
The FWD-Doc Engagement Pack will officially launch at the Sheffield Doc/Fest on Tuesday (June 8). It provides practical resources and information for the film industry on how to effectively, respectfully and creatively engage with disabled film talent and audiences. It’s designed to empower all areas of the independent film sector from filmmakers, distribution, exhibition and festivals to decision makers across awards and funding.
The resource is available to download online.
The Engagement Pack will be discussed at a Sheffield/DocFest talk called “Reimagining Disability in Documentary.” In this talk, James LeBrecht, co-director of Oscar-nominated Crip Camp (pictured) and a founding member of FWD-Doc: Filmmakers with Disabilities will speak to filmmakers who are working to reshape the narrative around disability.
Director Lindsey Dryden, who’s another founding member of FWD-Doc, filmmakers Ella Glendining (Is Anybody Out There?) and Kit Vincent (Red Herring), and BFI Doc executive Marie Russo are also all panelists at the talk.
Glendining and Vincent both praised the resource for being created by their disabled peers and for reframing traditional disability narratives so as to better ensure filmmakers who use this resource can be successful.
“As a filmmaker who has experienced the industry as both an able bodied person and now somebody living with an invisible disability, trying to keep up with the non-inclusive working standards and practices that exist has been difficult and at times had an adverse effect on my health,” Vincent said in a statement.
“This pack is a step towards creating a space where D/deaf and disabled filmmakers get to define what works for them in all aspects, with the support of the people who can really make a difference.”