Weird and Wonderful is a feature length documentary about the rise and fight of the disability rights movement. It It features interviews and extraordinary archival footage from around the world as activists who fought for disability rights recall the issues, battles, characters, leaders and triumphs of the disability rights movement from the 1960's to today. The names of activists are not famous yet they are people who have literally changed the world we live in: Bob Kafka, Colin Barnes, Johnny Crescendo, Lesley Hall, Kitty Cone, Zona Roberts, Mike Letch, and many more have changed our schools, buildings, buses, footpaths, offices, workplaces, houses and most of all they have changed our perceptions when it comes to what is possible with a disability.
These stories come from the UK, America and Australia and are woven together to tell a compelling cultural and political story from the earliest murmurings of protest from those segregated in institutions through a series of extraordinary battles that disabled people fought to be seen, heard and participate in society.
Research for this film began in 2008 and filming took place in the UK, Switzerland and America in 2010 followed by further filming in Australia through 2011 and 2012. Archives from across the world have been collected and we are currently creating an assembly edit. So far this project has attracted a total of $125,000 from Film Victoria, the City of Melbourne, Screen Australia, A Churchill Fellowship, the Victorian Department of Human Services and Yooralla. The money so far has paid for research and filming in Australia, the UK, Switzerland and The USA. Interviews have been recorded, much archival footage has been uncovered, and assembly edit is well underway. the next step is that the Pozible crowd funding dollars will be used to pay editor Rob Murphy to create a fine cut. From there we will be seeking completion funding to pay for archival rights and final grading and sound mixing. The money for the edit is a crucial stage in getting this project into shape so the structure, style and tone of the film can be fully appreciated.
A short teaser for the film has been created and you can watch it here:
You can explore this project further here: www.wierdandwonderful.net On this website you can see tasters of some of the stories from the film, as well as written articles that relate to the stories and characters in the film.
Making this film has been an amazing and challenging adventure. As a filmmaker Weird and Wonderful is really important to me as I've been making documentaries about disability and disability rights for nearly 20 years and I wanted to make a film that draws on the knowledge I've accumulated over the years and showcases many of the amazing people and stories I've come across. I also really wanted this film to be part of a meaningful discourse about disability and to signal a move on from stories that focus solely on "inspirational heroes" and "tragic victims". I hope you'll want to be a part of this exciting and important documentary by supporting this crowd funding campaign.