The most under-represented minority on-screen might be a different one than you think.
The best films put us into the shoes of their protagonists and leave our perspectives forever changed. But how do you create empathy with characters that society doesn’t even see? According to Isaac Zablocki, co-founder of the ReelAbiltiies Film Festival, people with disabilities are the largest minority in the United States, but are by far the least well represented both behind the camera and on-screen. ReelAbilities attempts to help rectify this by presenting work films by and about differently-abled people.
Zablocki joins me on the show with two of the festival's filmmakers, Daisy Wright (Enter the Faun) and Maximon Monihan (Voice of the Voiceless/ La Voz De Los SIilenciados), to discuss what any filmmaker can learn about being inclusive in their work. We have a fascinating chat about avoiding tokenism, broadening our storyworlds, and making both films and screenings accessible to the widest possible audiences.
“It’s on us as filmmakers not to think so narrow-mindedly about who can fit into any role. It’s just not creative. If you live in the real world and you walk down the street, there’s all sorts of different kinds of people."
Listen to our past No Film School interviews: