The BFI have announced details of its upcoming Busting the Bias Season, showcasing the work of disabled artists.
Full programme details for the series, which will run at the BFI Southbank from the 3rd to the 5th December, have been revealed to highlight the work of Disabled practitioners.
With tickets on sale now at £5 per event, all screenings will presented with subtitles for the D/deaf and people experiencing hearing loss.
The series will open on the 3rd December with special event Press Reset on Ableism with Andrew Miller, which looks to tackle the damaging impacts of ableism, the campaign itself aims to inspire decision makers in film and TV to reset their practices to establish a new normal for people with disabilities working in front of and behind the camera. This event will welcome Andrew Miller, Chair of the BFI’s Disability Screen Advisory Group, who will speak about the ways that the campaign seeks to educate and inspire people across the industry to recognise, tackle and prevent ableism.
Busting the Bias season will also include the UK premiere of Approaching Shadows which will be followed by a panel discussion led by TAPE Community Film and Music, a charity which uses quality, original film production to support the engagement, training and employment of people of all ages, through inclusive, person-centred production practice.
Short film Love, will be screened at the venue on the 4th December followed by a Q&A with writer Gemma Harvey and actor Jules Robertson. The film tells the story of Oscar, a complex character with unique needs but the same hopes and desires as anyone. Also screening on the same day will be It’s Personal which will also be followed by a Q&A with Kyla Harris and Lou Macnamara. Kyla requires 24-hour care with everything. Struggling with a care shortage, she asks filmmaker friend Lou to swap cameras for catheters and learn how to assist her. The pair give a refreshingly personal perspective of the care crisis, the necessity of friendship and what it means to truly care for each other.
On the final day, will be Talking Bodies: A Rehearsed Reading and Q&A – a response to Alan Bennett’s classic Talking Heads series, it tells the dark and funny stories of the d/Deaf, Disabled & Neuro-diverse, through a series of seven accessible short films.
Busting the Bias launched in 2017 to call on industry to improve access for Disabled talent and for content creators to stop comprising on authentic on-screen representation of Disabled people. Becoming a public event for the first time, Busting the Bias continues with this core mission, while celebrating and showcasing work created by Disabled talent.
Talking about the news, Jennifer Smith, Head of Inclusion at the BFI, said: “I am thrilled to be bringing this fantastic programme to audiences. It is imperative the film industry – both those who work in it and the content it produces – reflects our society, and currently representation of Disabled people is woefully lacking. At the BFI we are working to help break down the significant barriers faced by Disabled talent, and I believe that the quality of work in this programme proves that pushing the door open for Disabled creatives, storytellers, technicians and actors, isn’t just about doing the right thing, but is for the benefit our industry.”