A film made by a Victoria University student to celebrate National Youth Week offers first-hand insights on living with a disability.
Amy Marks, a 20-year-old second-year Bachelor of Screen Media student, was one of five winners selected by video entry to make a short film with the theme ‘my unique identity’ for SBS television.
The prize for Amy, a Footscray resident, included a chance to attend a week-long professional film-making and story-telling workshop so she could tell her story.
Amy said she wanted to offer an authentic representation of life with her condition – Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia – and stop people from assuming that life with a disability is either extremely tragic or inherently inspirational.
Her film is based on how she would explain her disability to other kids when she was in primary school.
“I realised when I was younger that if you say to a six-year-old ‘I have Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia’ it won’t make sense.
Instead I used to tell kids that I was a secret agent and my crutches were weapons — like giant antennas — or say ‘I got bit by a shark! And this is how I’m recovering from my epic shark battle!’”
She said it allowed other kids to follow what was happening with her surgery and recovery.
“Even though I didn’t realise at the time, I was building a story for myself and I guess that’s why I’m into film – it’s storytelling.”
Alongside her studies, Amy works at Victoria University as a videographer in VU’s Student Life team.
She is also a Westpac Young Technologists scholarship recipient.
SBS Television created the film contest for National Youth Week (Friday 31 March-Sunday 9 April) in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians and the Department of Social Services.
The winning films were aired on SBS Television and on SBS online.