Film Access Training: Neurodiversity

Working with neurodivergent participants and film talent is best achieved through encouragement and facilitation  

Blog by Events Manager Meray Diner  

Our last event as the events team consisting of Amaya Bañuelos Marco, Meike Krolewczyk and myself, was the neurodiversity training. Our search for neurodiversity training for film access practitioners was a difficult one. But this practical session facilitated by Stephen Clarke and Tom Stubbs from biggerhouse film showcased the work of three filmmakers they previously collaborated with – felt like the right choice to present a good example of collaboration. 

The three filmmakers’ films which are part of the ongoing film talent development programme Different Voices for emerging Neurodiverse filmmakers and creatives from the Bristol area were extremely emotional, moving as well as being very political.   

The stories were developed through their own personal lived experiences and frustrations. The training was very eye-opening about the true empowerment and facilitation needed and presented a good practice and example of biggerhouse’s work of enabling filmmakers with different perspectives and requirements to achieve their artistic vision. 

Jeff Johns – “Is this Purgatory”

“Two months past my 20th birthday I really did not expect to be in this place. A place where death surrounded me…..!” A sometimes psychedelic exploration of Jeff’s experience of being in intensive care. 

biggerhouse film has also been working to build on their existing community of neurodiverse talent in the region to create more collaborations with other neurodiverse filmmakers and include participants in Bristol’s filmmaking community. It was a great highlight to notice that they had commitment to work with the new talent on various projects rather than offering a one-off opportunity and participation.

Jessie Currie – “Introverse”

 “Sometimes the peopled world at large can be a harsh place. And other people’s normal, the opposite of safe. It means declining parties because the noise invades your ears and you can’t guarantee that moment of connection” A love letter to Jessie’s Autistic son.  

The interactive session engaged filmmakers in conversations with the participants through the Q&A. The session was very inspiring and helpful for the film access practitioners and organisations to understand co-creative practice better, improving skills and knowledge while working with diverse participants from different backgrounds. 

About biggerhouse film: 

biggerhouse film have been working together for 20 years making films with people. They describe their practice as making creative work with people who might describe themselves as being or feeling ‘removed from the centre’. This can include working with neurodivergent filmmakers, people with learning disabilities, people living with dementia and sometimes young people belonging to the LGBTQI+ community. 

Benedict Robinson – “Steve Parker” 

 A morality tale, centred on the grotesque ‘puppet like’ figure of Steve Parker. 

Parker is the personification of the friendly sounding acronym – ‘PIP’ (Personal Independent Payment benefits system), the UK’s recently implemented welfare scheme. The film trails Parker acting out his job as welfare assessor as he fulfils his dream to rid the world of all disabled people. His psychotic violent urges wind-up with karmic repercussions.

Film Access Scotland delivers training opportunities to develop the practice and skills of individuals and organisations working in the Film Access Sector.   

“A big thank you to film access Scotland for inviting us to present this seminar. The word ‘access’ is key to our practice as we are committed to making more work with neuro divergent creators and filmmakers and getting it seen. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear some really interesting responses from the participants. And I know that our filmmakers found it a really soulful and heartening experience” 

Stephen Clarke – Co Producer for biggerhouse film CIC   

 As we say goodbye to Film Access Scotland, I am very proud of our team and programmes we implemented with a strong communications strategy by Jen Reeves – to support the sector in delivering film education and filmmaking activities in Scotland.




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