After a brief hiatus, we're delighted to say that our podcast is back in action. We've spruced things up a bit with some new imagery and we're working hard behind the scenes to record a fresh batch of episodes. As long as all goes smoothly, we should have shiny new episodes ready for your ears every fortnight for the rest of spring and summer. Among the releases we'll be welcoming some more extra special guests, as well as covering a diverse and surprising range of films, themes and genres. We'll even be branching out into TV as we take a look at a particularly wonderful CBeebies show, and an eternally popular long-running sci-fi serial about a certain time-travelling Doctor...
But before all that, our first episode of this latest season is an absolute cracker. Regular hosts Georgia and David are supremely excited to be joined by fellow northerner Sophie Broadgate. Sophie is an autistic filmmaker working in Cumbria and Manchester where she's been creating a veritable feast of short films about the neurodivergent experience, many of which can be viewed on her website. We were lucky enough to get a copy of Sophie's film 'In Motion' which we screened at BLOC cinema as part of our conference. The film was commissioned by Northern Voices and it takes a close look at the importance of stimming in the lives of three autistic participants. In her interview with Nia Thomas, Sophie elaborates on the importance of putting stimming on screen:
When I was doing research, there were stories of parents trying to figure out how to stop their kids from doing it, and these same kids are in school being labelled naughty for fidgeting. So, I wanted to have these actions on a big screen and say, “yeah, it’s totally fine what you’re doing” and to celebrate the beauty of it. - Sophie Broadgate interviewed by Nia Thomas: https://manchestercollective.co.uk/sophie-broadgate-in-motion
We dwelt on this aspect of the film in our discussion on the podcast before moving on to discuss how to construct inclusive and safe film environments for autistic subjects and actors. Sophie's advise and insight is invaluable. Here's a little clip:
As ever, our special guests are asked to bring along a feature film for us to watch, one that has inspired their practice or has in some way resonated with their autistic experiences or sensibilities. Sophie suggested Céline Sciamma's 2011 coming-of-age drama Tomboy. The film features Zoé Héran as Laure/Mickael and explores gender nonconformity among a group of young people in France. We found much to admire in the careful balance that Sciamma strikes in her exploration of this tricky subject, and Sophie related her own experiences of neuroqueerness to the adventures and misadventures of the central protagonist.
All in all, it was the perfect episode to launch our new season. To listen to the whole thing, find it on our Podcast page, or stream it on practically any podcast provider. And if you enjoy it, please do share it on social media. We're very proud of the work we're doing on this podcast and we'd love as many people as possible to hear it.
Tune back in in two week's time for the next episode. We'll be joined by Andrew Brenner, creator and showrunner of Pablo, the CBeebies cartoon. Given the nature of the programme he works on, his choice of feature film may well surprise you!