#CripTheScript: Disabilities and inclusivity in Film and Television Webinar

Join the WIFT Canada Coalition as we examine visible and invisible challenges faced by Disabled creators, some solutions, and the unique voice they bring to storytelling.

About this Event

Date: January 28, 2021

Time: 2:00 p.m. AST

Click here to register.

#CripTheScript is a term coined by multi award-winning Disabled writer, performer, and producer Ophira Calof. What does it mean? To challenge, reframe, and reclaim language, systems, stories and stages to centre ‘Crip’, or disability, identities, experiences, and culture.

This event will examine challenges and solutions faced by Disabled creators on set and on screen, how we can move beyond 'inclusivity' as simply a buzzword, and the unique voice Disabled artists bring to storytelling. Please note: ASL interpretation is available for this event thanks to the generous support of AMI. AMI is a not-for-proft media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Please scroll to the end of this page for AMI's amazing scholarship, paid internship and apprenticeship, pitch, and research opportunities!


Ophira Calof

Beth Deer (She/They) is a multi award winning Disabled writer, performer, and producer. Her work weaves together music, comedy, and storytelling, centring disability and chronic illness experience. They co-created the sketch comedy revue Generally Hospital (Canadian Comedy Award Nominee, Patron’s Pick, David Seguin Memorial Award), her solo show, Literally Titanium, was developed through the Buddies in Bad Times Emerging Creator’s Unit before premiering at the 2020 Next Stage Theatre Festival, and they are currently the host of Slumber Party, a talk show on Bad Dog Comedy TV. Ophira also works as a curator, workshop facilitator, consultant, and keynote speaker with projects including COVID-19 through a Disability Lens: Storytelling and Filmmaking Project, Laugh With RAFF: A night of disability comedy, and Bad Dog Theatre’s 5th annual Our Cities On Our Stages Symposium. Ophira graduated from Second City’s Writing and Sketch Conservatory programs, was featured in the Second City 2018 Toronto Diversity Fellowship Showcase, and is the 2018 recipient of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award.

Beth Deer

As the Edmonton Bureau Reporter for AMI This Week—AMI’s weekly magazine show with a distinct community focus, sharing events and interesting stories from coast to coast—Beth has reported on a variety of stories in the disability community. From spotlighting a mental health magazine directed at teens, to interviewing a 20-year-old Oji-Cree man who is blind and taking the Canadian music industry by storm, to her own feelings on people who insist on petting her guide dog, Beth delivers her reports with curiosity and humour.

Since joining AMI, Beth has—as a host of AMI-tv original productions—explored Canada’s West Coast in Postcards from Vancouver Island, and delved into the emotional bond between guide dogs and their human partners in Follow My Lead. Her upcoming documentary, Wheel Girl Stories, follows The Alberta Wheel Girls group, a community of women who talk openly about their experiences as wheelchair users. It has become a “sisterhood,” a group of supporters, listeners, and good friends.

Originally from East Sussex, England, Beth Deer followed her love, Cody, to Canada and has been here ever since. Born with optic nerve hypoplasia and latent nystagmus, Beth lost her sight in 2014. A die-hard soccer fan (Manchester U), Beth has fully immersed herself in the Oiler nation. She and her guide dog, Patronus, are thrilled to be part of the AMI family.

Thurga Kanagasekarampillai Thurga Kanagasekarampillai was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She is proud to be Deaf Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian Queer. She is also a performer, an actress, and an artist. Thurga graduated with honours in Acting for Media program at George Brown College. She worked with Cahoots Theatre for the play called, "The Enchanted Loom" as my first experience as Deaf Interpreter in November 2016 and Red Dress Production for the community play called, “Drift Seeds” in May/June 2017. Recently in July/August 2018, I worked with Leslie Ting, a violinist to be an ASL performer for Speculation, a multi-disciplinary performance. I am working to make a difference for many Deaf youth from over the world to be an artist and remind them to go ahead with their dream by make it more accessible for them to succeed in the theatre production and film industry! I am supporting #DeafTalent all the way! Maxime D.-Pomerleau

Maxime D.-Pomerleau is a Montreal-based actress and contemporary dancer, working as an independent artist, and for the inclusive dance company Corpuscule Danse since 2014. She worked with artists in Canada, France, Germany and Mexico. Front figure of the 50th season of the institutional theatre Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui in 2018-2019, she performed there in March 2019 in the feminist play Guérilla de l'ordinaire, a production of Théâtre de l'Affamée. Since her breakthrough in the media and culture industry with her character in short film Batwheel in 2013, she performed in successful projects such as sensitive short film Take Me from directors Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and André Turpin, the TV series comedy FUBAR Age of Computer from director Michael Dowse, and dance and music videos. She's currently working on her first documentary projects. Maxime is frequently invited on panels on the topic of diversity in the cultural milieu, and collaborated with the Conseil québécois du théâtre, Diversité artistique Montréal, Forum RIDM, MainFilm, Studio 303 in Montreal and Modern Times Theatre in Toronto, amongst others. She's an advocate for access to culture for all. TERREANE DERRICK (photo coming soon) Terreane Derrick is a Gitx'san filmmaker. After surviving a traumatic auto accident, Terreane took a long break from filmmaking. Her film 'Hurry Up, You Stupid Cripple,' co-directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, is Terreane’s return to filmmaking and chronicles her resilience and often humourous take on living with disability and trauma.

MODERATOR Holly Elissa

Holly Elissa (Van Helsing, CW's Arrow) is an Autistic polymath: actor, filmmaker, artist, and NGO founder with Asperger's. With a career spanning over two decades. she is an acting veteran in 'Hollywood North.' Her extensive film and television credits include critically acclaimed and award-winning productions from MGM, CTV, Fox, Warner Bros, NBC Universal, The CW, and ABC. As an interdisciplinary artist - photo essayist, visual artist, writer and filmmaker - Elissa is motivated to tell stories that explore cross-cultural understanding and human rights through innovative yet accessible work. Her work in Africa and the Middle East contributes to her point of view, specifically the danger of white saviorism and a single story narrative. Learn more about her work at mylifeon.earth. AMI TV

Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s vision is to establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities, representing their interests, concerns and values through accessible media, refection and portrayal. The AMI-tv App provides yet another means of consuming AMI-tv original content. Consumers can watch or download AMI-tv content on the go or from the comfort of their home. AMI’s broadcast services are included as part of the basic digital package from most television providers across Canada at no additional cost. For more information please visit AMI.ca. AMI Scholarship The AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada with a permanent disability who are currently registered in and returning to a full-time program of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary college or university.

AMI is honoured to support higher education across the country through this initiative.

For further information visit AMI.ca/Scholarship

AMI Careers, Paid Interships, and Paid Apprenticeships

AMI focuses on attracting, developing, and retaining our talent, in addition to creating an engaged and inclusive culture. Our employees are located across Canada, providing a unique and region-specific perspective to AMI’s content. Through AMI’s competitive compensation packages, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and engagement initiatives, we reinforce our commitment to work-life balance for all of our employees.

In addition to full or part-time employment openings, we offer paid internships, apprenticeships, and work placements for persons with disabilities throughout the year.

More info here. Independent Producers

AMI is accepting new program proposals for AMI-tv. Do you have an idea you think AMI would be interested in? We would love to hear from you.

AMI Research Panel

AMI's Research Panel serves as an ongoing feedback mechanism between AMI and the community. Canadians who are blind or partially sighted are invited to join and share insights and opinions on accessible technology, TV programming, media consumption and more through focus groups, online questionnaires and telephone surveys. Join the AMI research panel today and help shape the future of accessible media.

To register for the AMI Research Panel please visit AMI.ca/Research-Panel or call Toll-free 1-855-839-4772.

About WIFT Canada Coalition

WIFT Canada Coalition is a group of autonomous WIFT chapters across Canada - WIFT Atlantic, FCTMN Quebec, WIFT Toronto, WIFT Alberta and WIFT Vancouver – and Women in View.

We are grateful to the CMF whose support has made these webinars possible.

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