Exciting news! All 8 episodes of the My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) films are going to be screened at Wyeside cinema as part of the Wyeside Inside Out Festival in Builth Wells, Wales on Sunday April 24th 2016. Each episode will be screened consecutively in the lush cinema. Also screening is my short, premiered at Raindance and my new stop-frame animation … I’m also programmed to be in conversation with Rebbecca Ray and we’ll be chatting about the films, film making, busting myths about Down’s syndrome, and anything else that comes up. Can you come? Can you spread the word and tell your friends? Magdalena and I will be there and we would love some friends and fans of our films to be there too. You can buy tickets online here, including a weekend pass, or at the door, or call the box office on 01982 552 555 If you are coming please let us know, you can contact us here, we’d love to meet you!
And, straight from Raindance where it had it’s World premiere, my short We The Mountain, We The Sea will have it’s Welsh Cinema premiere before going on to be screened at POWfest in Portland, Oregon. I am proud of this film, which is a piece of visual poetry that I made to interpret a track from Corpus Mei, a musical collaboration between the poet Penny Rimbaud and producer Youth. The soundtrack is incredibly powerful and dramatic and deserves to be experienced in cinema sound. It’s going to be incredible. Here’s the trailer for it.
Wyeside Inside Out fest is from Friday 22nd- Sunday 24th April 2016. An amazing 3 day festival of arts and participation exploring the creativity and cultural heritage of our community in Wales. There’s going to be youth theatre, literature, spoken word, visual art, comedy, workshops, live installations…The festival is inspired by a true story that happened 200 years ago, when the struggling Builth Wells poet Thomas Jeffery Llewelyn Pritchard walked the country carrying a single copy of his novel ‘The adventures and vagaries of Twm Sion Cati’ he took it from door to door and each sale enabled him to print the next copy. This was the first novel to be published in Wales and was based on the true life of an outlaw and bard. The first night of the festival opens with the premiere of the new play Tom a Twm, written by Ralph Bolland.This is so exciting, Magdalena and I are amazed and honoured that all the My Little Sister films will be screened in order with a live cinema audience. And I’m thrilled that We The Mountain,We the Sea will be screened. I really love the energy of this festival, it was great to be asked to make a film for the Seat 35 project. I’m going to be seeing as much as I can of the whole festival programme, that’s the best part of festivals the buzz of people sharing their ideas creatively. Here’s the programme in slides.If you are coming please let us know, you can contact us here, we’d love to meet you!
I’m thrilled that all the My Little Sister…films (in the series so far),have been selected to be screened together. It’s such a great opportunity for the films to reach new members of the community as well as people with an interest in Down’s syndrome or home education.
This series of films have become a huge film project that I invest a lot of time into. It started off with a simple 3 minute upload to youtube (my first ever upload!) aged 8 when I also started a website and blog www.agik.co.uk, I hadn’t intended on making a series at all, it happened naturally when the film went viral, and people wrote that the films had opened their minds about Down’s syndrome, I made another one the following year and people were asking me to keep on documenting our lives, they especially loved all the nature and were interested in the way that we learned through nature and play. People were saying that their children liked to watch the films again and again and were really useful for siblings to see. So I committed to making a yearly film about our lives and I’m currently editing Episode 9 (a year behind because of the burglary which included a lot of footage last year) and I will also have Episode 10 out later this year. I’m 13 now, and as well as seeing us grow up through the films, you’ll see the improvement in my filmmaking skills as well as the improvement in the camera equipment!
Magdalena loves watching our films and she will be in the audience with me! One of the reasons I make the films is that I get to see who she really is and I’m able to edit all these magical moments into my films for others to see her true character, this is important to me as because of the challenges Magdalena faces she will often be in shut down mode, so that she can manage the overwhelm, this especially happens if she is hurried and in situations where there is sensory overload, because of this a lot of people only see her ‘coping strategies’ and stop there, not seeing who she truly is nor the qualities that I see such as her cleverness, humour, love, wonder, cheekiness, and curiosity. I want people to get to see the Magdalena who I see and take the time to slow down and get to know her.
Being in conversation about my films and Down’s syndrome opens up discussion to get people talking and I hope that watching my films will change any stereotypes that people may have about Down’s syndrome. Especially in the light of the new pregnancy test which presents Down’s syndrome as something to be got rid of, rather than part of natural variation.
I would like to show through my films that variation and differences are what makes the world interesting and that all life is equally valuable. I couldn’t imagine my life without my little sister, Magdalena,I love her so much. If you watch our films you’ll see what I mean and share a bit of our world with us.