A thought-provoking short film about disability and inclusion was produced for the BBC by a team of talented students from the University of the West of Scotland.
Four undergraduate students – from the University’s highly regarded School of Business & Creative Industries – produced the feature for the 50:50 Equality Project, aimed at increasing diversity within the BBC.
BA Filmmaking and Screenwriting student Keir Jarvie; and BA Broadcast Production TV and Radio students Liska Pleines, Jamie Leckie and Rachel Watson, had their idea commissioned after pitching to a BBC panel, beating other pitches from across the country.
The film looks at the work undertaken by the BBC 50:50 project, exploring how it has increased the representation of disabled people across the organisation. It also examines hidden disabilities, such as autism.
Broadcast Production lecturer Kate Cotter, who guided the students through the pitching process, said: “Working with the BBC’s 50:50 project was a fantastic opportunity, both for us as an institution, and, more importantly, for our students.
“It really encouraged our students to consider the importance of diversity in their work. We hope this experience helped them develop skills which will stay with them for the rest of their career.”
She added that she was impressed by the quality of the film they produced: “I am genuinely delighted by the quality of their film. It is incredibly thoughtful and, and powerfully communicates the 50:50 message.”
The students, who did not all know one another before starting work on their pitch, said they were proud of what they had achieved.
Broadcast Production student Liska Pleines, who directed the film, said: “This was a brilliant opportunity, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to highlight the work done as part of this important initiative.
“The 50:50 project has done so much to include people with disabilities in the conversation surrounding inclusivity in the industry.
“We all learned a lot from working on this project, not only from the perspective of pitching and skills, but also from the perspective of how impactful representation is, and continues to be.”
The film was screened at the BBC’s 50:50 Festival in April 2021 and is available to watch on the BBC website.
Co-Producer and Camera Operator: Keir Jarvie
Video Editor: Jamie Leckie
Director: Liska Pleines
Co-Producer, Script-writer and Sound Operator: Rachel Watson