Born with a disability so rare that no reliable statistics for it exist, filmmaker Ella Glendining wonders if there is anyone who can share the experience of living in a body like hers. This simple question, one which nondisabled people so often take for granted, leads to a journey to not only others who live like her, but also to the realization that meeting them changes how she sees herself in the world, as well as many surprises on this journey. With intimate personal diaries, conversations with similarly bodied people and doctors treating her condition, and a searching and unique perspective, Is There Anybody Out There? invites the viewer to consider questions and assumptions they may have never encountered before. Are people born this way to be ’fixed’ by medicine? Is it ableist to see disabled people as living an undesired existence? With warmth and an infectious joy for her body and life as it is, Glendining takes you on an unforgettable experience that will change how you see others, like and unlike you.
In this profoundly personal mixed media experience inside the ADHD mind, Neurodivergent follows the filmmaker’s journey as she discovers her ADHD diagnosis during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. From Post-it notes to magnets, keys, pens, rubber bands, and receipts, the unorganized chaos of a junk drawer is the perfect representation of what Afton Quast Saler’s brain feels like every day. Growing up, she knew she wasn’t like the other kids but never really understood why, and doctors didn’t seem to be much help. She was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, rapid cycle bipolar, fibromyalgia, addiction disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, insomnia, and dyslexia—but none of those diagnoses felt right. In a unique way of coping with this new information, she courageously decides to put herself in front of the camera and, with the help of her husband, Jesse, documents this very personal journey.
A panel discussion/Q&A will follow the screening.
Keynote Speaker: Ella Glendining, Director and Film Subject, Is There Anybody Out There?
Keynote Speaker: Afton Quast Saler, Director and Film Subject, Neurodivergent
Ella Glendining, Director and Film Subject, Is There Anybody Out There?
Afton Quast Saler, Director and Film Subject, Neurodivergent
Fiona Whittington-Walsh, Professor of Sociology, KPU; Principal Researcher, Including All Citizens Project; Principal Researcher, Bodies of Film Project
Karla Verschoor, Executive Director, Inclusion BC
Usha Gunatilake, Writer, Editor, Students with Disabilities Representative (KSA)
Moderator: Simon Driver, Instructor, Employment and Community Studies, KPU
Lisa Marie Russo, Nikki Parrott, Natasha Dack Ojumu & Mark Thomas
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