People with disabilities are often underrepresented or misrepresented in cinema. There are only few films that present a main character with a disability, while films that feature characters with a disability mostly cast able-bodied actors for these roles, such as Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman (Martin Brest 1992) or Alec Baldwin in Blind (Michael Mailer 2017). Additionally, the narrative and film language of these films are generally intended for an able-bodied audience and do not specifically address an audience with an impairment. Through inter-disciplinary research and close collaboration with participants with a visual or hearing impairment, this project will explore different methods and approaches in the process of making a short film, which lead to adequate, positive, and ultimately more layered representation.
In the short film Clara is a florist who relies on smell and touch as she is blind. Simon is an art student and uses BSL. They both don’t know this about each other. Clara and Simon have been chatting through a dating app and decide to meet up. Will they find a way to connect?
The project is supported by the Challenge Investment Fund and is a collaboration between alumni, staff and students of the Edinburgh College of Art of the University of Edinburgh.