Ross Wilcock on Queer & Disabled Representation

Tell us a bit about the shorts programme, Picture This, you’ve put together for SQIFF this year. What can people who attend expect?

My shorts programme is a series of short LGBTQ+ films surrounding the subjects of disability, dating, and sex. I feel these things are very important and need to be explored more as society has (for the most part) stigmas around disability as well as the LGBTQ+ community. I hope that people who come along to Picture This will experience a range of films that will open their minds up to new views and ideas.

How did you get into working in film yourself and what are the challenges?

Well, at the moment I would definitely say I’m on my way to working in film. I still have a long way to go and of course there are many challenges. The hardest being proving myself as a serious player in the film game. It is so tough to get places within film and media and I think it’s made even harder when you have barriers against you, mine being my disabilities. I work really hard to prove myself within the industry and try to not let negative comments or discrimination (which I have experienced) get in the way of my passion and love for film and media. I haven’t quite made it yet but im getting there, slowly.

What do you think makes for good or bad LGBTQ+ disabled representation?

I personally think what makes for good LGBTQ+ disabled representation is when a film or media work conveys the character in a realistic way. What I mean by that is when we see the person’s strength, their weaknesses, their hard times and their good. This goes for any representation of any character or person. Being able to get a realistic and true representation of the struggles and the life of a person will help to change opinions and perceptions of disability, so that finally someone with a disability is exactly that – a person, a human being that has a disability.

What else are you looking forward to in the SQIFF programme?

I am very excited about this year’s SQIFF programme. I think everything in the festival looks great. I am certainly going to try and get to everything. I am however looking forward to seeing all the accessibility features SQIFF always has. Which is something I praise them for and actually how I got involved in SQIFF in the first place. Having audio description and BSL is such an important thing to me and indeed to many people out there who find it useful as it really makes the Festival accessible for all.

Ross Wilcock is a filmmaker and vlogger. He is a contributor for BBC The Social and vlogs about film. Click here for his YouTube channel. SQIFF Shorts: Picture This takes place on Thursday 6 December, 6.15pm at CCA. For more information and tickets, click here.

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