(Image credit: Rosalyn Barnet)
It's almost a year on since the 2012 'Enlightenment' Paralympics opening ceremony took place. When Stephen Hawking told an audience of millions to look to the stars, they saw an entire cast of disabled performers high in the sky on trapezes, ropes and perched upon gravity-defying poles. Paralympian, Tanni Grey-Thompson flew overhead in a gold wheelchair and Amputee Afghan war veteran, Joe Townsend came hurtling into the stadium on a zip wire.
all eyes on us tells the stories of David, Stephen, Lauren and Johnnie; four-performers preparing to appear in the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 Paralympic Games. The film shows four very different people whose lives have been characterized by a shared struggle to get along in a society where most people don't really understand them.
all eyes on us is a 25 min documentary made by Eelyn Lee productions and a group of talented young people from the Olympic host boroughs, two of whom are disabled. The young filmmakers were given exclusive access to film the Paralympics opening ceremony, presenting unique, never seen before footage in the film.
The Paralympics offered the best chance in a generation to help the British public learn about life with disability - but what changes has that brought, for the performers in the film and other disabled people?
22 year old Jacqui Adeniji-Williams meets each of the performers during their training to discuss how their involvement has impacted on their lives. Relating her own disabilities to theirs, personal stories are revealed raising key questions about access and changes in perception.
Over the course of this week, leading up to the UK Premiere in Dalston (book here) we are publishing interviews with Jenny Sealey, one of the artistic directors of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony; Joe Mason a young blogger who has been mentored by AND; Jacqui Adeniji-Williams from the film and there's also a joint interview with the Director Eelyn Lee and her sound-recordist/assistant-editor Shajna Begum.
The photos that accompany them were taken by Frances Baker, Ros Barnett, Sam Lanchin, Tahmina Rahman and Benji Smith, who were all mentored by Tim and Barry.
all eyes on us and the Parlaympics has started an important conversation about disability. Let's carry it on.
See the short trailer to get a feel for what we've created. Stay tuned for the interviews that follow.
If you want more about any of this, get in touch with Oliver Benjamin.