Unlocked Lives – The film premiere!

#UnlockedLives logo in black against a bright yellow background. The logo shows a white cartoon of a video camera set in a black circle with the project title in black writing underneath

Press Release

Disability Wales to launch Unlocked Lives, a film that captures disabled people’s experiences through the different waves of the pandemic

Unlocked Lives is the Disability Wales video project made possible thanks to funding by The National Lottery Community Fund Wales. 

Premiering at an online Zoom event on Friday 17th September at 6:30pm, the feature-length film will introduce viewers to a host of experiences and stories shared by the project participants throughout the pandemic. 

The setting of a safe on-line workspace gave participants a cue to offer a record of their life and thoughts, allowing Disability Wales to capture the private, everyday issues faced by their members through the different waves of the pandemic.

The accessible video-making resources provided by the Disability Wales team, paired with the gradual introduction of industry-specific vocabulary and an emphasis on ‘demystifying the tech’ and on encouraging a commitment to output, has fostered enjoyable, easy-going skill-building in the group, and has helped in creating a great deal of compelling and powerful moments of self. 

All of this has contributed to building a repository of self-expressive content which have been crafted into a final feature-length piece, created by Dogma Films.

Speaking on the significance and impact of the project ahead of the upcoming premiere, Miranda Evans, Policy and Programmes Manager for Disability Wales said:

“This has been a remarkable project capturing the everyday life of disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Each individual story is unique and provides personal insight into the highs and lows of lockdown. This project does not solely recount the issues and challenges of social isolation and disability during the Covid19 outbreak, it also casts an eye on future societal reflection and attempts to create a stimulus for positive change and a drive to influence policymaking. Huge well done and thank you to everyone involved!”

Snippets of the film have already been shared by Disability Wales on social media with the clips reaching thousands of people and the trailer itself earning a retweet from Welsh actor, Michael Sheen.

Unlocked Lives is a timely project having given participants across Wales the opportunity to share their story at a time where so many disabled people have felt forgotten and unheard. 

“Unlocked Lives has inspired me to speak out and tell others how life is as a disabled person,” says Nic who features in the film. 

“We need support, need our friends and family, and need people to treat us with respect like they treat others. We do not want to be locked away, instead we want to embrace life to the fullest!”

Offering insights into a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds, the film promises to be hard-hitting but simultaneously laced with character, wit and joy.

The project participants will now have the opportunity to continue sharing their experiences by documenting their stories on a blog which is being set up by the Disability Wales team. 

To complement the new platform, the online event will also feature a mini workshop on ‘How to be a blogger’ by Disability Wales Social Media & Communications Officer and award-winning blogger, Elin Williams

Anyone wishing to join the event and watch the premiere can register via Eventbrite.

The event will be held on Zoom from 6:30-8pm on Friday 17th September.

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