Easy to Read
The Film Innocence
A man falls to his death in a care home. Two brothers are possible suspects. One of them lives at the home. The other brother works at the home. Who do you think is the killer?
Ben Reid is the director and writer of the movie Innocence. He did an audio interview with Easy to Read.
Ben, your film is a crime thriller.
The main character has Down syndrome.
It’s rare to see people with Down syndrome in films.
Why did you write the story of Innocence?
My brother has Down syndrome.
He inspired me to make this film.
I wrote Innocence because I wanted to show what actors with Down syndrome can do.
I wanted to show how they can act when they’re given real adult roles.
People with Down syndrome have wants, needs, and desires like everyone else.
They can do good things and bad things, and everything in between.
But there are not enough roles in films for them.
I hope Innocence helps filmmakers see how talented actors with Down syndrome are.
Films and society will be better if these actors are given more roles.
What qualities were you looking in the actors with Down syndrome?
Dylan is the main person in the film.
For Dylan’s role, I was looking for an actor with a strong personality.
Dylan is tough, but is his feelings can also be hurt.
Dylan is friendly too.
Tommy Jessop is an actor who can show these sides of Dylan’s character.
Tommy can show Dylan’s feelings too.
Sarah is another main person in the film.
I was looking for an actor with a strong screen presence.
Screen presence means making a strong impression on the viewer.
Sarah seems like she is weak, but she is actually tough.
She has a strong personality.
Bethany Asher can act everything that Sarah does in the film.
The producers of the film are Tibo Travers and Ken Ross.
What do film producers do?
He knows how to keep everyone excited and positive while making the film.
I have been lucky to work with Tibo Travers on many projects.
He has a lot of passion, energy, and talent.
He also made it possible to show the film Innocence to lots people.
Ken has a very personal reason to be part of the film.
His son has Down syndrome.
Ken works to get more people with Down syndrome to be included in films.
He wants people living with Down syndrome to be included in every part of life.
Ken supported the film because it shows what actors with Down syndrome are capable of playing.
Were there any surprises during the making of the film?
Yes! There were pleasant surprises.
We had planned exactly how all the scenes should be acted.
But the actors with Down syndrome played the scenes in a variety of ways.
So we had a choice which scenes to put in the film.
That was the surprise.
What is your advice on making films with actors with Down syndrome?
Think of the person as important, not the disability.
Don’t think that all people living with Down syndrome are the same.
Every person with Down syndrome has a different personality.
They are as diverse and interesting as anybody else is.
People living with Down syndrome all have different experiences.
They are able to act in all kinds of films.
Actors with Down syndrome can play every role.
They can act the role of a person without disability too.
Why did you make the film Innocence?
Firstly, Innocence is a film that is entertaining and thrilling to watch.
But it also makes the viewers think about their image of people with Down syndrome.
The film shows that people with Down syndrome have strength of character.
Viewers might not expect the actions the actors take in the film.
They might be surprised that people with Down syndrome can be be powerful.
The film shows that people with Down syndrome have a will of their own.
Do you want to continue making movies like Innocence?
Tibo Travers and I are preparing to make a film like Innocence.
We are looking for funding for the film.
Funding means helping pay the costs of making the film.
It will be filmed in Ecuador in South America and in London.
It will be a colorful and grand film.
Watch the Film Innocence
Innocence has 55'000 views on YouTube.
*Quotes are edited to Easy to Read.*