Monday, August 26, 2013

"CinemAbility" director Jenni Gold on Hollywood and disabilities

From The Mobility Resource in 2012. Read an August 2013 interview with Jenni Gold in here in Studio Daily.

Who is Jenni Gold?

Film director Jenni Gold has a new film coming out this spring CinemAbility, a documentary exploring how  Hollywood has portrayed people with disabilities. (The film premiered July 26, 2013.)

“I love film and TV, and I was curious how the portrayals have affected society’s understanding. But as CinemAbility developed it became more about inclusion. When different types of people are represented, it affects your understanding of those people. For better or worse and that in turn influences the inclusion of people who may be outside the norm.”

What is her contribution?

Gold is the co-producer, co-writer and director. She also used her vast Hollywood connections and researched decades of  Hollywood  history to tell this important story. Ben Affleck, Jane Seymour, Adam Arkin, Marlee Matlin,  Beau   Bridges  and Peter Farrelly are among the many celebrities and industry professionals contributed their talents to the project.

“This was a seven-year labor of love,” she said. “ Hollywood ’s been supportive of the film. Everyone was very giving of their time. Different companies helped us along the way, and people lent their support and advice.”

Why TMR thinks she is a #MobilityMover and Shaker:

Gold went way back in time to make her movie, discussing Susan Peters, who starred in the film noir “Sign of the Ram” in the 40s after an accident that caused her to begin using a wheelchair.

“She was going to be the next big star, so after the accident, it was so impressive that she returned to the big screen,” Gold said.

The 60s TV series “Ironside,” starring Raymond Burr, was also a groundbreaking example of the power of images.

“It was very progressive even by today’s standards,” she said. “It was a positive portrayal of a person with a disability who was still active and successful. The show is also a good example of how what we see influences us. After the show would air each week and the public saw Ironside using an accessible vehicle, I’m told that The Braun Corporation’s phones would ring off the hook due to people wanting a similar transportation capability.”

Outlook for the future:

Gold’s movie, CinemAbility, is scheduled to debut in April. Gold is deciding where to have her premiere.
“My goal is for word of mouth to spread – this movie is interesting and entertaining. It’s a fun ride, and I hope it will be driven by people’s interest in film and TV history as well as this important topic.”