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Sightsavers-supported film challenges preconceptions of disability

March 2023

A Sightsavers-supported film about disability rights will feature in the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, taking place at the Barbican in London on 16-26 March.

Sightsavers is a presenting partner for the film, titled ‘I Didn’t See You There’, which encourages viewers to ‘confront the spectacle and invisibility of disability’. It is director Reid Davenport’s first feature film, and is shot from Davenport’s perspective as he navigates the world from his wheelchair.

When a circus tent arrives just outside Davenport’s flat, it prompts him to consider the history and legacy of the ‘freak show’, in which individuals who were deemed atypical were put on display for the amusement of paying audiences. Davenport contemplates how this relates to his own filmmaking practice, and sets out to make a film about how he sees the world without having to be seen himself.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival, run by Human Rights Watch, is an annual event that showcases diverse content and raises awareness about human rights issues. The film will be screened at the Barbican in London on 19 and 24 March, with a live Q&A with the director following the first screening.

The film is being shown in relaxed screenings, meaning the lights will be dimmed and the volume will be lower than usual. Audio description and live captioning of the post-screening discussion will also be available.

The film will be available to stream online on 20-26 March across the UK and Ireland. Tickets for the screening and live Q&A are available now.

Two young men speak to each other in sign language. One wears a yellow t-shirt and holds crutches, the other wears a blue striped t-shirt.

Disability rights

We believe everyone has the right to learn, earn and be happy, which is why we promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

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A still image from the film I Didn't See You There, showing the silhouette of a man in a wheelchair reflected in a doorway, with a colourful circus tent in the background.
In the film, a circus tent encourages director Reid Davenport to explore the legacy of the circus ‘freak show’.

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