After ten years of research, interviews, and shooting, filmmaker Jenni Gold has released her documentary, CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion. The film includes interviews with Gary Sinise, Jane Seymour, Jamie Foxx, Marlee Matlin, Ben Affleck, Helen Hunt, Garry Marshall, Geri Jewel, and many more.
In a recent podcast interview podcast interview at Film Threat, Gold outlined her plan for The Gold Test: two simple questions every filmmaker should ask themselves:
1- Is there a person with a disability in your movie?
In the interview, Gold worries that “9.9 times out of 10, the answer is ‘no.'” Then she explained why the question is so important:
“if you go out here today and walk down the street, you’re gonna see somebody, somewhere with a disability. Because people with disabilities make up 20 percent of the population.”
2- If there is a person with a disability in your film, are they portrayed in a non-stereotypical way?
According to Gold, too many films portray the “horrific” message that “life without full abilities is not worth living.” She explained:
“when I started this whole process I thought surely has time evolved and yeah attitudes you know were more enlightened that we’d find these old things going away.”
If more actors, screenwriters, producers, and creators ask themselves these simple questions, we could make sure these old stereotypes go away for good.