News / Arts & Entertainment

Disabled Express Themselves with Filmmaking

Filmmaking Offer Creative Outlet for Disabledi
X
June 03, 2013 12:50 PM
Apple's popular tablet computer, the iPad, has revolutionized and democratized filmmaking, providing a creative and more affordable way for people to express themselves. It has done even more for a group of disabled individuals near Washington DC, as Faiza Elmasry reports. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Filmmaking Offer Creative Outlet for Disabled
Faiza Elmasry
More than a dozen people with physical and intellectual disabilities go to a daycare facility outside Washington twice a week and turn into filmmakers. At The Creative Edge Filmmaking workshop, they learn to use iPads to shoot and edit video.

“It’s just another program enhancement that we’re trying to apply to all of our day programs moving forward," explained Melissa Ezelle, a project director of The Arc.

The nonprofit advocacy group, which provides services to the disabled, began offering the workshop earlier this year.

“The philosophy of this partnership, the Creative Edge Digital Media Partnership, is to introduce iPads to our individuals with disabilities so they can use them as communication tools," Ezelle said, "but also as tools to creatively express themselves through photography or through i-movie.”

The adults in the program are varied in their abilities. Most need the help of special facilitators, like Judy Turay. She attended the workshop to help Nicole Chase, 30, who is intellectually challenged.

“She communicates so well with me," Turay said. "She likes taking pictures of her friends.”

Program director Ezelle said although it’s a relatively new program, the workshop is already benefitting the participants.

"What we also see is the recognition of self and the idea of self-portraiture, when people immediately use iPads to take photograph of themselves," Ezelle said. "The idea of sequencing and understanding past and present, so you record something in real time, then you replay it...That’s also a big cognitive leap for individuals to learn.”

Filmmaker Andrew Millington, of the Creative Edge Studio, taught the group the basics of image capturing, editing and sequencing. Then he encouraged them to use those skills to create their own stories.

Michael Steele, 25, brought his toys - a bunny, a pig, a horse, two robots and a plastic school bus - to the workshops so they could be used in his movie.

“We taught him to use sound effects," Millington said. "He began to sort-of motorize the bus. He made the bus real. Then, as we went on, I discovered that he had a grandmother who lived in New York and he would apparently go to New York by bus.”

As the students draw on their own experiences, they also develop their own style of storytelling.
 
“All of us as being human have language, artistic language can be abstract," Millington said. "But once they find something that’s unique to them, to their expression, they develop. And they make their own rules. It may not be a Hollywood strict form of expression...but it’s how he sees his world. That’s how he chooses to express the world.”

As a filmmaker, Millington admires the unique forms his students’ expressions take.

"They pull from an imagination that is not obfuscated by daily life or they don’t have the kind of intrusions, or judgments, into the art of storytelling," he said. "I wish I could tell a story with that freedom, with that purity of expression.”

Filmmaking is part of The Arc’s holistic approach to integrating people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their community, explained Jessica Neely, its director of Family Services.

“We have sort of three general areas: fitness, arts and personal development,” she said.

The next step will be to take this group out with their iPads to document what they see.

“The goal is to sort of move the whole model of an adult day center out from the 4-walls of the center," she said, "and into the community, truly integrated into the larger community.”

Millington has another goal for the films his students create.

“I’m hoping eventually the standard reaches a point where we can screen them for audiences,” he said.

A move which would introduce the community to the views of a segment of the population that are often unseen.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."