The producers of a new documentary that follows the extraordinary life of a British gay man with a disability are fundraising for the short to reach LGBTI film festivals.
Kris: The Power of Support is the debut production from Gay Star Films (a project of Gay Star News).
The film follows Hereford-based gay couple Kris and Deane Saunders-Stowe, who run a weekly fitness class accessible to all, including those in wheelchairs and with other access requirements.
It follows them over three months as they prepare 80 people to take part in the annual Superhero Tri Paratriathlon.
Kris himself, although only in his 30s, is largely confined to a wheelchair due to crippling Osteoarthritis.
After overcoming difficult mental health challenges, Kris is inspiring his class members to find empowerment in their identity and disabilities.
The story of ‘Kris: The Power of Support’
The documentary is directed by Jamie Wareham. He and Saunder-Stowe are looking to raise £500 in order to submit the film to film festivals around the world. They already raised over half of that target.
Although the film will eventually be released online, many film festivals require films not to be available online at the time they are playing at the festival.
‘Though we intend to release the film online later, we want to make sure Kris’s story gets the attention and accolades it deserves,’ says Wareham.
Kris hopes that if more people can see the film, ‘more people can appreciate what they can do for others – but also, more people will feel comfortable asking for support.’
‘To embrace ourselves as who we truly are is the most empowering thing we can do for ourselves. Accepting our strengths, weaknesses, and individualities is important. As is showing others that being different to them is perfectly acceptable and normal.’
Crowdfunding to take the Kris’ empowering messages to a global audience
Wareham is the Head of Broadcast for Gay Star News. He is passionate about the power of LGBT+ storytelling and has endured his own health problems since he was a teenager. He now lives with his own hidden disabilities and long-term conditions.
‘I’ve had a really difficult time communicating about my hidden disability since getting ill ten years ago,’ he says. ‘But Kris’s story has empowered and inspired me.
‘As someone with chronic pain and other hidden disabilities, filming Kris has inadvertently helped me. Just like Kris helps those we follow in this documentary. I have now started to come to terms with the way I feel and talk about my own disabilities. I’m very proud for this to be my directorial debut for a video documentary.’
Film editor, Lewis Peters, added: ‘I’ve filmed a lot of content in my time as a video editor. But I’ve had a special emotional investment in this project from the start. I have so much passion for creating something special to share with the world, who like me, might need their eyes opened.’
Find out more via the movie’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/thepowerofsupport/