Perspective Shift, a new documentary series screening on SBS TV and SBS On Demand, uses groundbreaking approaches to share some rarely-depicted Australian stories. After decades of journalists and TV producers portraying people with disabilities in ways that didn’t reflect reality, Attitude Foundation has taken on the challenge. Assisted by production company Taste Creative and accessible film school Bus Stop Films, Attitude Foundation is disrupting the way in which documentary characters with disability are depicted in a manner that’s true to the person and up-to-date with contemporary values surrounding representation and accessibility. “The aim is to improve community attitudes to disability and spark inclusion, which has inherent human rights benefits but could also add billions to the Australian economy over the next decade, as a result of greater participation”, says founder and Chair, Graeme Innes. Attitude Foundation’s CEO, Angel Dixon says, “The tools that we need to move forward on the path to inclusion are all in Perspective Shift”.
Perspective Shift’s 30-minute episodes share nuanced stories of three creative artists: Daniel Monks (an actor), Prue Stevenson (a visual artist), and Jana Castillo (a dancer). Each creative artist is a person with disability and their life experiences are explored in relation to their craft. Perspective Shift highlights the individuality of each artist’s creative practice and the multidimensional nature of disability.
Daniel Monks was told at 13 that he would never “make it” as an actor because he has a physical impairment, but he went on to forge his own path. Informed by his identity as a gay man, Daniel wrote and starred in Pulse, a film which saw him nominated as Best Lead Actor at the AACTA Awards and win a prestigious prize at Korea’s renowned Busan International Film Festival. Through Daniel’s journey, we discover what it takes to resurrect and realise a dream long believed unattainable.
Prue Stevenson, an emerging artist, is one of Australia’s leading visual arts talents, having exhibited and performed her artwork nationally, notably at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Prue’s unique and personal art practice springs from her identity as an autistic woman and is an integral way that she connects with the world around her. Many of Prue’s spectacular art pieces invite audiences into her autistic culture, sharing and celebrating her inimitable “Prue version” of Autism.
Jana Castillo is one of Australia’s leading female contemporary dancers. She has performed with the renowned Australian Dance Theatre and was the recipient of the 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer. Born for the stage, as a child Jana excelled at eisteddfods and ballet, and went on to build her skills at leading dance institutions. As her performance career progressed, Jana acquired impairments, which led her on a new journey of self-discovery, advocacy and artistry.
Inclusive media content should be accessible to everyone, so each episode of Perspective Shift is available with Closed Captions and Audio Description tracks. Audio Description (audible voice-over explanations of visual context) is necessary to ensure that people who are blind or have a vision impairment can consume visual media. Australia is the only English-speaking OECD nation that does not offer Audio Description for free-to-air television. The open Audio Described episodes will be available via SBS On Demand from November 11 2019.
Perspective Shift airs on SBS TV on November 12 and 13.
● Episode One: Daniel Monks 4.00 – 4.30pm Tuesday 12 November 2019
● Episode Two: Prue Stevenson 3.30 – 4.00pm Wednesday 13 November 2019
● Episode Three: Jana Castillo 4.00 – 4.30pm Wednesday 13 November 2019
A secondary school teachers’ guide & lesson plans, and special-event community screenings with Q&A panels will be available in early 2020.