Sandra Alland and Lisa Mattocks co-curated the Viewfinder programme of short films, Unapologetic Self-Portraits, with SICK! Festival. In this collection of films, disabled and D/deaf people are taking back the camera or the stage or the poem, moving away from the pity, tragedy or supercrip inspiration narratives that are so common when speaking about disability – we’re telling our own stories in our ways.

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Drew Goldsmith: Regione Caecorum (In The Land of the Blind)

Drew Goldsmith: Regione Caecorum (In The Land of the Blind)

Claire Cunningham (British Council): Give Me a Reason To Live

Claire Cunningham (British Council): Give Me a Reason To Live

Shadowlight Artists (Mark Barber, Sergio Cruz): Wake Up In A Dream

Shadowlight Artists (Mark Barber, Sergio Cruz): Wake Up In A Dream

Sins Invalid (Patricia Berne, Nomy Lamm): Sins Invalid (Film Trailer)

Sins Invalid (Patricia Berne, Nomy Lamm): Sins Invalid (Film Trailer)

Touretteshero (British Council): Backstage in Biscuit Land

Touretteshero (British Council): Backstage in Biscuit Land

Alison Smith: Kettle’s Boiling

Alison Smith: Kettle’s Boiling

Candoco & Hetain Patel: Let’s Talk About Dis

Candoco & Hetain Patel: Let’s Talk About Dis

Disabled Avant-Garde (Katherine Araniello, Aaron Williamson): Amazing Art

Disabled Avant-Garde (Katherine Araniello, Aaron Williamson): Amazing Art

Kim Noble: You’re a Mental Patient

Kim Noble: You’re a Mental Patient

Michael Achtman: Awake (subtitled)

Michael Achtman: Awake (subtitled)

Michael Achtman: Awake (with subtitles and audio description)

Michael Achtman: Awake (with subtitles and audio description)

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There are ten films in the Viewfinder playlist, totaling 65 minutes. The films feature both new and established disabled and D/deaf artists working in dance, theatre, film, animation, poetry and performance art. Genres range from documentary to stop-motion animation to comedy, from poetry to Surreal dance film – giving a taste of some of the most exciting moving images being created by and about disability-focused artists and companies.

We’ve got Candoco Dance Company with Hetain Patel, theatre artist Touretteshero, dancer Claire Cunningham, BSL poet Alison Smith, performance company Sins Invalid, filmmaker and performer Kim Noble, animator and director Drew Goldsmith, Shadowlight’s dancer Mark Barber, Disabled Avant-Garde’s visual artists and performers Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson, and a longer short by Michael Achtman featuring Margo Cargill and Alex Bulmer.

ACCESS INFO:
All films are captioned for Deaf viewers &/or disabled people who require text (in some cases they are embedded, in other cases you must turn the captions on via Youtube).
Awake also has an audio-described version available (the 11th film in this list).
The captions for Shadowlight Artists’ Wake Up In A Dream describe the soundscape, but it’s a visual dance piece and there’s almost no dialogue. If you prefer a version without captions, go to:
CONTENT NOTES:
-Claire Cunningham (Give Me a Reason To Live): reclamation of ableist terminology
-Sins Invalid (Sins Invalid Film Trailer): reclamation of ableist terminology; violence
-Touretteshero (Backstage in Biscuitland): strong language
-Alison Smith (Kettle’s Boiling): discussion of homophobia, scars, stereotypes about Deaf people
-Disabled Avant-Garde (Amazing Art): nudity; reclamation of stereotypes about disabled and Deaf people
-Kim Noble (You’re a Mental Patient): offensive language; images of scars, suicide, institutionalisation
-Michael Achtman (Awake): strong language; drug use
OTHER NOTES:
-Sins Invalid (Sins Invalid Trailer). To buy or rent the full version of the film, Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility, go to http://www.sinsinvalid.org/film.html