Seed&Spark Updates#FilmDis creator Dominick Evans on his case for optimism
January 30, 2018
1. Express your thoughts about 2017 in an image, GIF, or noise.
The image that sums up 2017 for me (above): Disabled people fighting back for healthcare and other things the Trump administration is trying to take away in my current home state of Ohio.
2. What did you take for granted in 2016 that you’re extremely grateful for in 2018?
I took for granted the fact that others have been fighting for my freedom and equitable treatment — for years. And I've seen new people emerge to join that fight. I'm grateful that I've had the ability to help in my own small ways, too. But if it hadn't been for all of the activists that came before me, I would not be where — or who — I am today.
3. What piece of art — film, book, album, performance, painting, whatevs — restores your faith in humanity?
Ava DuVernay directing A Wrinkle in Time. It's one of my very favorite books as a kid. It was the first thing I remember reading that made me feel like it was okay for me to be different and weird. I've been waiting for a film adaption that will do the novel justice, and I've been mesmerized by everything I've seen so far from the production. Watching a black woman directing what I'm certain will be a blockbuster gives me hope that Hollywood will be more inclusive. The industry still has a long way to go. But this is progress.
For things that are already out, I really connect with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Not too many shows are relatable to me, frankly. Besides Sens8, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is one of the only shows where I've seen myself in one of the characters. As someone with psychiatric disabilities, I'm deeply grateful that the show addresses mental health in a way that doesn't make me feel horrible about myself. The show gives me faith that more quality shows featuring disability will get made — and watched!
4. What happened in 2017 that actually made the world a better place?
It can be really hard, when you're multiply-marginalized, to feel like the world is a good place. What did make the world better, though, in 2017, was National ADAPT fighting with other activist groups to protect healthcare for all. We won the fight — for now.
The disability community is often ignored, and people have started paying attention to the protests today, the same kind of protests that have been done by disabled activists that preceded my generation for decades. ADAPT has made the world better for so many people—not only those of us who are disabled. Learn our history. It's your history, too.
5. What are you determined to do—or make or change—in 2018?
I'm determined to get back out there and make films and other media content that represents voices that haven't really been heard previously. Disabled people. Transgender/Non-binary folks. Others marginalized by our oppressive society. No matter what this year brings, I'm going to keep fighting for everyone's rights. And I plan to wage that battle through my art.
Ready to wage your battle through your art? Join us in 100 Days of Optimism by building an audience, raising funds and being eligible for career-changing prizes.
And don't forget to create and share your Case for Optimism with the world (and your social media friends).