×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘CinemAbility’ Documentary Shines Light on Disability in Film

Wednesday’s SAG-AFTRA-sponsored screening of Jenni Gold’s documentary “CinemAbility” drew several hundred viewers to the Arclight Hollywood — with the director expressing plenty of affection for film industry.

“I love Hollywood,” Gold told the audience. “I love this art form and it’s powerful. The true American art form has stories that have not been told.”

CinemAbility” explores the portrayals of disability story lines in film and TV dating back to the silent film era and covering such landmark films as “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” “Children of a Lesser God,” “Ray,” and “Door to Door.” Jane Seymour provides the narration.

The event drew an impressive lineup of speakers: DGA President Paris Barclay, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, “Speechless” star Cedric Yarbrough, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” director James Keach and disabled actor Kurt Yaeger, who was cast by Barclay in “Sons of Anarchy.”

“To tell the stories of things I don’t know about is much more interesting to me than what I do know,” Keach noted.

Carteris said Gold’s work is a reminder of the need for truthful portrayals. She said that the subject is near to her due to the injuries she suffered a decade ago on the movie “Past Tense” — which left her unable to speak for months — and her reluctance to discuss it for a year.

“I didn’t want anyone in the business to know,” she added. “But the perfection of who we are is our imperfection. We need to be reflecting the real world up there.”

Yarbrough serves as the voice for Micah Fowler’s character, who can’t verbalize due to cerebral palsy.

“I want to make sure I’m visible as sort of a spokesman for the show,” he noted. “It’s been eye-opening to me and I’m as diverse as they come.  I  liken this to my mother growing up in the South in the 1960s when everyone in the town would go to see James Brown on ‘Ed Sullivan.'”

Yaeger, who lost a leg a decade in a motorcycle accident, noted that Hollywood needs to reach out to disabled actors to get truthful stories. “It’s the discovery of what we don’t know that actually creates great art,” he added.

Barclay credited Gold for making him aware of the need to cast a net for disabled performers. “We need to see everybody; when I’ve done that, we’ve found the right actor,” he added.

Barclay also mused that creating memorable movies and TV is a crucial political statement nowadays. “In the Trump era, all we can do is turn to our art and try to change people’s minds,” he added.

More Film

  • Paul Davidson

    The Orchard Head Content Executive Paul Davidson Steps Down

    At the finish line of its sale to 1091 Media, distributor the Orchard’s film and TV head Paul Davidson is parting ways with the company. In an amicable split, the creative executive addressed staff in person and in a company-wide memo on Tuesday in New York City to inform them of his decision. “While I [...]

  • Ava DuVernay Toby Emmerich Michael Douglas

    Ava DuVernay, Toby Emmerich, Michael Douglas to Speak at Produced By Conference

    Ava DuVernay, Toby Emmerich, and Michael Douglas will speak at the Producers Guild of America’s 11th Produced By Conference. The event will be held on June 8-9 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Other notable speakers include Netflix executive Cindy Holland; Blumhouse producer Marci Wiseman; “Homecoming” showrunners Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz; Entertainment One [...]

  • Jean Francois Helene Etzi

    Disney's French Chief Jean-Francois Camilleri Exiting, Helene Etzi Upped

    Jean-Francois Camilleri is leaving Disney after more than 30 years and will replaced as the head of its French operation by Helene Etzi. Sources said Camilleri’s departure was his own decision. He announced his exit on Twitter, Tuesday, and paid tribute to his team and colleagues at Disney, thanking them for the “unique adventure.” In [...]

  • dumbo Tim Burton

    Film Review: Tim Burton's 'Dumbo'

    The key image in Walt Disney’s 1941 “Dumbo” is something out of a fairy-tale daydream: Dumbo, the baby elephant with long-lashed goo-goo eyes, a cuddly grin, and ears as long and floppy as wings, flapping those ears to soar around a circus big top, flying over the crowds with a freedom as touching as it [...]

  • Guys and Dolls

    'Guys and Dolls' Getting Remade at TriStar (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Guys and Dolls,” the venerable Broadway musical, is set to return to the big screen. TriStar Pictures has purchased remake rights to the original Damon Runyon short stories about gamblers and gangsters that inspired the shows, as well as the rights to the Broadway musical with its book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and [...]

  • Captain America: Civil War

    'Black Widow,' 'Little Women,' 'Charlie's Angels' Among Most Tracked Female-Directed Projects, IMDb Says (EXCLUSIVE)

    Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” Cate Shortland’s “Black Widow,” Patty Jenkins’s “Wonder Woman 2,” and Elizabeth Banks’s “Charlie’s Angles” are among the ten most tracked projects on IMDbPro. Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), Chloé Zhao (“The Rider”), and Susanne Bier (“After the Wedding”) rank among the most widely followed female directors on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content