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Norfolk disabled people's film gets London premiere

PUBLISHED: 08:47 24 January 2011

A group of talented young disabled people from Norfolk have made a film exploring the issues around disability. They watch its first showing at the Forum, Norwich.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A group of talented young disabled people from Norfolk have made a film exploring the issues around disability. They watch its first showing at the Forum, Norwich.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

A talented group of disabled people from Norfolk are travelling to London today to premiere their new film about disability to an audience of famous names at Westminster.

The film, Don’t Dis Me I’m Able, is a celebration of disability which has been made by members of the Norfolk Youth Forum for Young Disabled People.

The film is being shown to MPs, peers, celebrities and disability campaigners at Portcullis House today and is the culmination of six months of hard work.

Members of the group, who come from across the county, had no film-making experience at all until the start of the project and after being shown the basics were given the task of putting together a short film which explores the lives and aspirations of their disabled heroes.

It also includes an insight into their own lives as well as featuring interviews with a number of famous faces including former Home Secretary David Blunkett, paralympians Dame Tanni Grey Thompson and Ade Adepitian, actor Matt Fraser and TV presenter Cerrie Burnell.

Caroline Golding, a youth worker at the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People’s Youth Forum, said: “I think it’s been a huge undertaking but its been a huge success.

“The messages we’ve got from the people we went to interview have been really positive and really inspiring just telling it how it is. That’s the group wanted to do - just tell the world what it’s like for them. Disability is a normal part of life - that’s one of the messages we want to get through. There’s still a huge fear around disability and I think this film is good because it breaks down some of that fear or at least I hope it will.”

The group, which has been running for just over a year is designed to help members with confidence and independence by giving them control of everything the group does.

Film is used by the group as a powerful way of having a voice and the group secured £20,000 in funding from Mediabox to enable them to travel around the country interviewing some of their disabled heroes. The project has equipped them all with skills in filmmaking, research, animation and marketing and distribution.

Robert Vaughan, a filmmaker that worked with the group, said: “It was a pretty ambitious project from the very beginning to say the least. It wasn’t just about making a film but about equipping them with the skills to make the film themselves. I think its been a huge success.”

Those involved in the project include Chris Reddington, Edward Bates, Catherine Meijer, Daniel Martin and Hannah Gill.

Following the premiere the film will be shown at Cinema City in Norwich on February 18.

For more details log onto www.ncodp.org.uk/youth-forum or call Caroline Golding on 01508 491217 or email caroline.golding@ncodp.org.uk

Have you been part of an inspirational project that has helped change people’s attitudes? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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