Dis/Able: Dismantling Ableist Filmmaking


Apr 3, 10:00 PM - Apr 4, 12:00 AM

Co-presented by

Taking the idea of 'DIS/able – Dismantling ableism within mainstream filmmaking. DIS/Able will be showcasing how "dis"abled filmmakers subvert the film-making process to be more inclusive of their accessibility needs. Filmmaking as a whole should be more accessible to people like us but somehow it continues to not be.

Acknowledging that film-making is expensive, hard, takes a lot of energy, gruelling even on able bodied people. Furthermore it's history is steeped in colonization, patriarchal relations and white supremacy. DIS/able looks to remedy this by telling a completely different narrative on film-making.

I feel like film-making as a form is actually very inclusive, more about community and advocacy. I think it says a lot that there is a lack of disability representation out there despite how accessible technology has become. The goal of this panel is to show how accessible film-making IS, and help re-imagine a future were we are at the table leading and guiding a more equitable, inclusive and decolonized way of making films.

I was hoping by curating a panel of genius DIY filmmakers and deconstructing their process that it would help inspire more undiscovered filmmakers to the table and inspire mentorship programs to target under served populations.

Jaene Castrillon

Works featured:

My Bones Bleached White by Catherine Jones (Canada / 4:00 / 2015)

Memory, trauma, the body and the mind itself are evoked as inextricably co-dependent factors in what we see, feel and understand.

Sight  by Thirza Jean Cuthand (3:33 / 2012) 

Super 8 footage layered with Sharpie marked lines and circles obscuring the image illustrates the story of the filmmaker’s experience with temporary episodes of migraine related blindness and her cousin’s self induced blindness later in life. Paralleling the experience of Blindness with Mental Illness, Cuthand deftly elucidates that any of us could lose any of our abilities at any time.                   

I Want to Kill Myself by Vivek Shraya (Canada / 08:32 / 2017)

Contemplating suicide: a biography.

Micro Comedies, Macro Tragedies  by jes sachse (2016)

Mino-bimaadiziwin (The Good Life) by Jaene Castrillon (Canada / 5:21 / 2016)

Mino-bimaadiziwin (The Good Life) came out of the Artist for Film residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point. I was excited about First Story's walking tour with Elder Carolyn King. I was only able to participate with the aid of a wheelchair and allow others to push me around, it was my first time in a wheelchair. I documented this walk from that perspective with this manual timelapse on Super 8. Reconciling myself as a mixed-race indigenous Colombian settler "walking the red road" while being a person who lives with physical disabilities. Learning to live mino-bimaadiziwin as a settler to Turtle Island and Tkaronto. - Jaene Castrillon

Prayers for Dreamy Boys by Fallon Simard (2021)

Prayers for Dreamy Boys is a new series of digital illustrations and animations by Fallon Simard. Fallon interrogates the relationship between state violence and mental health in so far as it is perpetuated on to Indigenous bodies. In Prayer for Dreamy Boys, they apply visual motifs derived from traditional Indigenous medicine and ecological knowledge to renderings of trans masculine bodies in order to dream and manifest alternate masculinities.

Delayed Echoes by Sharrae Lyon (Canada / 10:00 / 2020)

In this fictional short, Messiah Campbell must navigate the loss of his mother as he journeys towards his destiny.

Program still: My Bones Bleached White by Catherine Jones

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