Ben Affleck, Jamie Foxx, The West Wing’s Marlee Matlin and Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte star in Cinemability: The Art of Inclusion, a feature doc that looks at the history of disability portrayals in entertainment. Watch the first trailer above.
The doc, which is directed by Jenni Gold, the only wheelchair using director on the DGA roster, has been picked up by Leomark Studios and will launch across video-on-demand on October 5, to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
From the early days of silent films to present-day Hollywood blockbusters, the film takes a detailed look at the evolution of “disability” in entertainment over the last 120 years by going behind the scenes to interview celebrities, filmmakers, and studio executives. Gold produced alongside Jeff Maynard and wrote with Samuel W. Reed.
There’s Something About Mary director Peter Farrelly said Gold had created something “truly inspiring… and she made me laugh, with a documentary”. Jon Voight added that the film was “profound, hilarious and uplifting”.
Gold said, “CinemAbility is in part a love letter to Hollywood, an industry that has consumed my life, and partly a wake-up call. Growing up as a wheelchair user I found many of the representations of people with disabilities on screen to be confusing. I remember every year my family would watch Affair to Remember when it aired on TV and I always found it odd that after Deborah Kerr became a wheelchair user she could no longer pursue the man she loved.
“As a filmmaker who loves the rich history of Hollywood, I realized that a historical overview of disability portrayals had never been done, and that’s certainly one of the aspects of the project that drew me in.”