Made by Rohan Hande (Collage Artist and Photographer, Mumbai)
Image Description: A grainy black background with an off-white circular phenakistoscope (pinwheel) disc in the centre. On the pinwheel disc, small circular gearwheels/film-like reels are placed along the radius, like spokes of a wheel. The gearwheels/reels are connected to each another (in a way that one gearwheel moves only when the other moves). Along the centre of the pinwheel disc is a vertical strip of a rainbow colour spectrum. A camera lens is placed at the centre of this strip, and instead of the lens iris, we see the iris of an eye. The words ‘We Make Film’ (in yellow) are placed along the curved top of the pinwheel disc, and the following film credits are written horizontally below:
Written and Directed by Shweta Ghosh
Assistant Direction: Priyanka Pal
Content Collaborators: Anuja Sankhe, Debopriya Ghosh & Mijo Jose
Cinematography: Sumit Singh and Shweta Ghosh
Sound Recording: Sumit Singh
Synopsis: At a time when anyone with a digital video device can make a film, anyone who wants to make a film should be able to make one.
But what happens when you’re assumed as incapable or ‘difficult’ to work with? What happens if you need adjustments to make equipment or film sets accessible? And what if you’ve shunned the thought of a career in filmmaking, because the best film school in the country doesn’t accommodate your access needs?
Set in contemporary urban India, the We Make Film series explores the creative journeys of three d/Deaf and disabled film/video-makers – Debopriya Ghosh, Mijo Jose and Anuja Sankhe. Three portrait films highlight the (in)accessibility of film and video technology, the barriers to film consumption and education for d/Deaf and disabled filmmakers in India, and the ways in which the protagonists articulate their creative vision. These stories of struggle and innovation are documented via workshops initiated by the researcher-filmmaker, Shweta Ghosh, in summer 2018. Developed collaboratively with each protagonist-filmmaker, these workshops aimed at writing short film scripts based on their experiences with filmmaking and creativity.
As the series chugs along documenting each workshop and protagonist’s story, it begins to unveil their passion for the moving image as a medium of expression, their creative approaches and career aspirations. During the collaborative process, Shweta begins to reflect on her personal experiences with disability and filmmaking via a fourth film in the series. Shweta’s exploration reveals the ways in which her and other nondisabled filmmakers’ films and creative processes have so far assumed a nondisabled audience and crew, and she eventually begins to contemplate ideas of allyship and collaboration to pave way for an inclusive creative future for all.
Through a convergence of the four filmmakers’ exploratory journeys, the We Make Film series attempts to build a conversation on the filmmaking process and product, highlighting the ways in which film audiences, filmmakers and film technology focus on dominant able-bodied perspectives, and what this means for creative expression by Deaf and disabled communities.
Contact the director to back the post-production of this unique film series today, and help share the Deaf/disabled filmmakers’ unique stories with the world. Share this project with your family and friends, Like the film on Facebook, Follow it on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with research updates, GIFs, videos and memes that’ll run alongside the project.