Los Angeles, April 1 – Diving In is a fun and exciting short film premiering at the Aspen Film Festival this year. A familiar story about the thrills of high school crushes, the quick seven-minute film follows Alex’s epic adventure to delete the texts his friends sent to his crush before she can read them. It’s tough to say more about the film without spoiling it, as it is only seven minutes long, but it is most definitely a must see. The film is full of clever comedic characters, hilarious moments, and brilliant cinematography. It’s truly a feat just how much this crew was able to accomplish in only seven minutes.
Diving In is a shining example of how people with disabilities can and should be depicted in media.
Alex, played by the writer/director himself, Adam Bowes, is a double amputee above the knee. However, Alex’s disability is not the focus, nor is it even discussed in the short. The wonderful thing about this film is the way that it captures Alex going about his everyday life as a person with a disability while never once feeling the need to focus on his disability.
In an interview with RespectAbility, Bowes said, “A big part of making a short film was making it not about disability but about the story, the connection between the friends, and as well this lovestruck teenager who has a massive crush on one of the trainers at the pool. He just happens to have a disability. And some of his friends have disabilities. And some of his friends are able-bodied. Because that’s life. Just because there’s disabled characters in a story doesn’t mean there has to be a particular reason for why they’re there.”
Diving In’s ability to take into consideration the existence of people with disabilities and show them as people is exactly what people with disabilities want to see when they see a person with a disability on-screen.
Outside of its spectacular depiction of people with disabilities, one of the most fun moments in the film is the slow-motion action sequence tracking Alex as he athletically dodges, ducks, dips, and dives his way through the crowd. The scene not only shows off Adam’s athletic ability along with his acting, but more importantly, it helps dispel the myth that people with disabilities can’t do action sequences. As a gymnast, this is a matter that’s incredibly important to Adam. “I think there’s so many films where an able-bodied actor will portray a person with a disability and they will say, ‘that they have to do this in an action sense because people with disabilities can’t do that.’ Well, maybe you’re not finding the right people. You’re not looking hard enough.”
Adam and his team set out to tell an engaging story that challenges traditional disability narratives in media, and it’s truly amazing how much Diving In manages to fit into such a short run time. Diving In is definitely worth your watch when it premieres this year at the Aspen Film Festival. More information can be found at https://aspenshortsfest30.eventive.org/films/603aca2163744f00450ff02f.