actors with disabilities

All-disabled cast makes history at Tropfest 2019

Comican’t is a short film that showcases the talents of a cast of actors with disabilities. Produced by Rollercoaster theatre company, the film was nominated to be one of 16 finalist in Tropfest 2019*. Directed by Rory Kelly and shot in Melbourne, it follows three friends as they attempt to make the journey to the pop culture convention Comicon.

When Comican’t was announced as a Tropfest finalist for 2019, it apparently came as no surprise to the cast, according to the film’s artistic director Sarah Sutherland; “Their responses were hilarious because they were like, ‘well, yes, of course we’re nominated’” she said.

In the lead up to the awards ceremony, Tropfest founder John Paulson was equally pleased, speaking in an ABC interview to praise the inclusive mix for the 2019 event; “These 16 films form a vibrant mix of stories and reflect a true cross-section of our collective identities, including actors with disabilities, seniors and the LGBTQI community,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see them all on the big screen.”

The excitement of their film being screened at the event was real for the cast and crew of Comican’t too, but it didn’t end there …

On Saturday February 9 at Tropfest’s annual event**, the team was showered with awards. In an historical effort for an all-disabled cast, Comican’t was awarded 2nd prize for Best Film! An incredible achievement for the team no doubt, but again, it didn’t end there…

The best actor was announced as a tie. For the cast of Comican’t what came next was an apparent overload of pride and joy; “It was a massive explosion of incredible excitement when my name was mentioned first, and then when Andrew’s (Tresidder) name was mentioned I just had to pinch myself” said Ryan New on the Tropfest couch after the fact. It was indeed a tie! Ryan and Andy proudly claimed the best actor pineapple trophy together.

You can watch the full Tropfest wrap on their live facebook feed: https://www.facebook.com/tropfest/videos/788053984885368/

(tip – jump to 2hrs 29mins to catch Ryan and Andy talking about the film and their award).

Increased demands for more diversity in Hollywood in recent years is spreading to the rest of the industry, and here at NDSP, we couldn’t be happier about it.

A huge congratulations to the cast and crew of Comican’t and the organisers and judges who make Tropfest such an incredible Aussie event.

What’s in store for next year? We’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Rollercoaster theatre company that’s for sure.

[ image at top shows full cast and crew of Comican’t. Courtesy of www.rollercoastertheatre.com ]

*Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival and has become one of Australia’s most iconic cultural events. Since 1993 Tropfest’s purpose has been simple: to create platforms for filmmakers to generate new content & share their stories.

**Tropfest 2019 was scheduled to take place at Paramatta Park in Sydney, but due to wild weather was smoothly relocated to Rose Lawn, also in Sydney.

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