‘I Am Me’ – a film on disability hate crime

Have you ever noticed kids shouting names at someone? Have you been on a bus when someone is being verbally abused? Have you noticed that someones garden has been vandalised?

It has been recognised that incidents often happen and people within communities have no idea that what they are witnessing could not only be a crime, but could also be having a dreadful effect on the quality of someone’s life (that someone is also a son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, neighbour…)

I Am Me is a powerful insight into how incidents can seem…


‘I Am Me’ tells the story of 24 year old Charlie, a young man with a learning disability and autism. Charlie loves gardening and books but hates shouting and graffiti.

Charlie’s brother Tom wants to know why he is having problems – Charlie cant let on that he is being harassed, bullied by perpetrators.

The story begins as Charlie is moving into his own flat. With Charlie’s mum being ill and struggling with his care, Charlie’s older brother Tom is keen that he takes steps towards living a more independent life. Over time though Charlie is targeted by local youths and the abuse starts to escalate.


Charlie is abused by one of his perpetrators during a late evening bus journey home.


‘I Am Me’ is a strong film that explores the issues of disability hate crime in a thought provoking and yet sensitive way. It makes the viewer think more about how, and why these hate crimes happen, and why it is often difficult to confide in others, to report the crimes even.

The filming of I Am Me

 

The film was made in collaboration with the Pace Theatre company, a locally based professional productions from Paisley.

The IMDb review page for I Am Me

The charity I Am Me is a community organisation which aims to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime. I Am Me is a Renfrewshire based multi-disciplinary action group which promotes a partnership approach with Police Scotland, disability groups, community groups and volunteers from various parts of the country.

The I Am Me project aims to raise awareness with local young people and disability groups through the power of drama production, and the new film is the charity’s first foray into movie production as a means of storytelling the issues of disability hate crime – and enabling the I Am Me charity to reach a much wider audience with its message.

PACE Theatre Group’s production clearly delivers a hard hitting drama that is aimed at challenging attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people. The idea originally arose as a play that toured Southern Scotland, and it played to positive reviews. The potential for the subject to be made into a film became apparent and so I Am Me – the film – was born.

The film used many of the same characters from the play, including the lead roles with Daniel Cameron and Alan Orr.

Alan Orr (Tom) Daniel Cameron (Charlie) in the stage production of I Am Me
The I Am Me project is also working alongside Police Scotland to develop a ‘Keep Safe’ initiative aimed at working with local business to create safe areas for people feeling vulnerable in the community. For more information see I Am Me’s website

The film was premièred on the 26th March 2015 at the Showcase Cinema in Paisley.

Pictures of the première can be seen on Facebook

At the end of the film I Am Me, it is said 97% of disability hate crime goes unreported.
Clearly the severity of disability hate crime is reflected upon – and its huge impact upon those who find themselves a victim. The film clearly impresses on its viewers as to why disabled people in general dont want to report this crime. It is because it can be seen as an indication that they are somehow not managing their lives well.
 It is important to remember, as is indicated towards the end of the film, that disability hate crime is not because of the way Charlie or other disabled people are – but because of the way other people happen to be.
 
Certainly for those of us who are disabled, the struggle to be normal in the face if such adversity is a very strong and often hard one. It is rare for people to understand fully what we are going through – and perhaps even more rare to find people who can stand with us and support us in the attempt to fit in as well as we can within society.

In March I Am Me (the charity) won an award for its excellent work to the people of Renfrewshire in raising awareness on disability hate crime. 

The film won an Award of Excellence for Daniel Cameron (as Charlie), plus two Awards of Special Merit for Feature Film/Disability Issues at the Indie Fest Film Awards in California.

Quotes from Facebook:
 
Fantastic film made by PACE for the project, to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime – it is recognised as one of the most under reported crimes in the UK.
 
The film also highlights that when seemingly small things happen day after day, this can quickly escalate and become serious and not only affect individuals but also the wider community.

We all have a responsibility to make sure our communities are safe places for our families and our children, but also for our friends, neighbours and for everyone else.

The film I Am Me is available to view on You Tube – complete with full subtitling for greater accessibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!