SHOWAbility’s Entertainment Influence Rises As Consultant on New Film Receiving World Premiere at Tribeca Festival

SHOWAbility’s Entertainment Influence Rises As Consultant on New Film Receiving World Premiere at Tribeca Festival

SHOWAbility is a human services organization working to identify performing artists with disabilities and secure paid opportunities to display talent.

Color Book, Award Recipient of Tribeca Festival’s 2023 AT&T $1 Million Untold Stories competition

SHOWAbility’s ultimate goal is to help create a world where performing artists with disabilities are unencumbered by policies, systems resource constraints and mindsets that limit their potential,”

— Myrna Clayton, founder/executive director of SHOWAbility

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, July 3, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — A new film about an Atlanta-based father raising a son with Down syndrome, which recently received worldwide visibility at New York’s Tribeca Festival, got some assistance in its development by gaining perspectives from SHOWAbility, a disability advocacy and human services organization that creates opportunities to empower performing artists with disabilities.

Written and directed by David F. Fortune, a Decatur, GA native, “Color Book,” explores the challenges and experiences of a widower from Atlanta’s eastside, attempting to attend his first baseball game with his son with Down syndrome. Wanting to ensure he got the particulars surrounding accessibility and other issues facing the disability community correctly, Fortune reached out to a friend and colleague in the film industry, Maia Miller, an award-winning Atlanta-based film producer, project manager and a board member of SHOWAbility.

“My team had the opportunity to witness the significance of what SHOWAbility does to enlighten the community, while empowering and showcasing the untapped talented performing artists with disabilities, ” shared David Fortune, whose film (Color Book) was the award recipient of the Tribeca Festival’s 2023 AT&T Untold Stories competition, which awarded the filmmaker and his team $1 million to produce their feature film. “When we served as volunteers of their ADA 33rd Anniversary Celebration last year, I knew they could lend some keen insight into certain aspects of the film’s development,” he said.

Also produced by Kiah Clingman (Black Santa – Tribeca 2022), Kristen Uno (Empty Bases – Tribeca 2022; See You Then – SXSW 2021; Anywhere With You – Cannes 2018) and Autumn Bailey-Ford (On a Wing and a Prayer, MGM 2023; Tulsa, 2020), the cast includes William Catlett (A Thousand and One), Brandee Evans (P-Valley), Terri J. Vaughn (The First Wives Club, Cherish The Day), and newcomer Jeremiah Daniels.

“Beyond celebrating fatherhood, our goal is to honor Black families within the Down syndrome community by giving perspective to their stories and shining a light on underrepresented voices,” shared Clingman, speaking on the film’s importance. “Through the inspiring journey of Lucky and Mason, we aim to shine a light on the resilience, love and strength within these communities. It truly was an honor to produce this beautiful film alongside David and our other incredible producers, and to contribute to a more inclusive narrative for all families,” she said.

Miller, who has worked with successful filmmakers and directors, such as Spike Lee, Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas, is also making a name for herself in the industry as one of four applicants chosen out of 1,500 to be selected as part of the Issa Rae and Deniese Davis fellowship, “The Color Creative Find Your People Program.” She is also the daughter of SHOWAbility’s Founder and Executive Director, Myrna Clayton.

“As a board member of SHOWAbility and as a film producer, I understood how critical it would be for David to ensure the film remained authentic to the disability community it was representing, as well as when it came to performing arts” shared Miller. “As a result, I put him in touch with someone who I knew had the knowledge, as well as the passion and vision for including more performing artists with disabilities in these types of projects,” she continued. “It just so happened that that person is also my mother,” she said.

For nearly 15 years, SHOWAbility’s mission has been to break down unintended barriers to people with disabilities as it relates to performing artists and accessible facilities. The organization has been an integral part of impactful NEA funded feasibility studies in Fulton County, which focused on accessibility of entertainment venues for artists and staff with disabilities, and also the organization features programming that works to create a world in which performing artists across the disability spectrum, can achieve their dreams changing career trajectories and improving life possibilities.

“SHOWAbility is so pleased and excited to have had the opportunity to participate in this significant way with the development of Mr. Fortune’s film and are looking forward to the possibility of hosting a screening of the film in Atlanta” shared Myrna Clayton, an international jazz singer and U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassador, who founded SHOWAbility 15 years ago. “There is a mantra within the disability community that says, ‘Nothing about the disability community without the disability community,’ and this is especially true in the entertainment arena” Clayton continued. “We’re thankful that as a result of our various disability-focused community programs, opportunities to consult with producers and directors of film projects about disability inclusion, as well as opportunities for disabled performing artists in our growing roster to be paid and welcomed on stage for their talent where they belong, are increasing. Accessibility and accommodations are the key to happiness for us all and SHOWAbility’s ultimate goal is to help create a world where performing artists with disabilities are unencumbered by policies, systems resource constraints and mindsets that limit their potential,” she said.

Myrna Clayton
SHOWAbility
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Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/724681514/showability-s-entertainment-influence-rises-as-consultant-on-new-film-receiving-world-premiere-at-tribeca-festival