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CRIPTALES TO PREMIERE OCTOBER 1 ON BBC AMERICA SIX SHORT FILMS WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PERFORMED BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

CripTales Joins Other Groundbreaking Series In Free Streaming Collection For National Disability Employment Awareness Month

 

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September 14, 2020 – New York, NY – BBC AMERICA announced today the October 1 world premiere date for CripTales – a collection of six short films curated by Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials, American Horror Story) – each one written, directed and performed by a person living with disabilities.

The six 15-minute monologues will premiere on Thursday, October 1 at 10pm ET/9c on BBC AMERICA and the entire collection of films will also be available to stream at the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month across the digital platforms of the AMC Networks Entertainment group: BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and AMC+.

Each film is a fictional monologue capturing a life-changing moment for a person with disabilities, based on factual research and lived experience and spanning the last 50 years of British history.

The monologues are written by Mat Fraser, Jackie Hagan, Jack Thorne, Genevieve Barr, Tom Wentworth, Matilda Ibini; performed by Mat Fraser, Robert Softley Gale, Ruth Madeley, Jackie Hagan, Liz Carr, Carly Houston; and directed by Ewan Marshall, Amit Sharma and Jenny Sealey.

The films cover a variety of experiences, from an actor (played by Fraser) in the present day waiting to go into an audition and dreading how it will be, to a young woman in 1968 (played by Madeley; Years and Years, BBC AMERICA’s The Watch) contemplating the future of her pregnancy.

“I’m so proud and excited to present these wonderful stories for mainstream TV audiences around the world, thanks to BBC America and BBC Studios,” said Fraser. “The authentic voices, taut direction and shining performances combine to make a series of diverse and dramatic monologues that are compelling, refreshing, and above all, entertaining.”

CripTales brings to our screens a beautiful collection of short films, curated by the incredibly talented Mat Fraser, shining a light on stories that don’t often make it to primetime,” said Courtney Thomasma, Executive Director of BBC AMERICA. “At times hilarious and at others heart-breaking, these monologues exemplify both the diversity of experience among people living with disabilities and the thoroughly relatable dilemmas we all face in life.”

During the broadcast and online, AMC Networks will share with viewers how they can support the efforts of The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), one of the leading national cross-disability civil rights organization that advocates for the full recognition of rights of over 60 million Americans with disabilities.

To mark the launch of CripTales and October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, AMC Networks will share a Visibility Collection that includes CripTales, Critics Choice Award winner Push Girls, and This Close, which has received the Ruderman Family Foundation Seal of Authentic Representation. The Visibility Collection will be available to stream free (no log-in required) across the apps and websites of BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV for the month of October. Visit www.VisibilityCollection.com for more.

CripTales is a BBC AMERICA co-production with BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit, with Debbie Christie serving as executive producer. BBC AMERICA began co-producing and premiering innovative short-form monologue series with the GLAAD Media Award-nominated Queers and later the BAFTA-nominated Snatches: Moments from Women’s Lives.

 

FILMS:

“Audition”
By Mat Fraser
Actor: Mat Fraser
Director: Ewan Marshall

Mat sits in the waiting room before an audition, dreading how it will be. He re-lives some of his best and worst moments in auditions, and takes us back to his childhood where he unlocks the reasons for his fears, before finding the way to triumph…Or does he?

 

“Thunderbox”
By Genevieve Barr 
Actor: Ruth Madeley
Director: Amit Sharma

It is 1968, and Sue is in the toilet at a Pop Festival. Abortion has recently been legalized; it’s a moment of liberation. But for Sue, a wheelchair user, it throws up difficult questions of bodies and belief. A whirlwind romance has left her pregnant. What should she do now?

 

“The Real Deal”
By Tom Wentworth 
Actor: Liz Carr 
Director: Ewan Marshall 

Meg is looking out her window trying to catch sight of a man whom she thinks is a benefits cheat. She is compiling details about him in order to shop him for fraud. But unexpectedly, he forges a friendship with her and encourages her to claim more benefits for herself. A dark and witty tale set against the benefits system in the U.K.

 

“Hamish”
By Jack Thorne 
Actor: Robert Softley Gale 
Director: Amit Sharma 

It’s 1981. Hamish’s parents have been fundraising to buy him a new wheelchair. Crucially, it is a self-operated vehicle, and a chance for independence. Pushed everywhere by caregivers before this, Hamish heads for the woods to find sexual pleasure. But he hasn’t counted on such rough terrain…

 

“Paper Knickers”
By Jackie Hagan 
Actor: Jackie Hagan 
Director: Ewan Marshall 

Jackie is in a hospital bed. She is facing a decision about whether to have her leg amputated. As she thinks through her options, she explores her feelings for someone she has recently met, who seems interested in her. Will she have a chance of pursuing her romance with only one leg? A bold, witty exploration of what it is to be an amputee.

 

“The Shed”
By Matilda Ibini
Actor: Carly Houston
Director: Jenny Sealey 

A children’s writer finds herself falling in love with Keira, her next-door neighbor. But Ellie, her caregiver, does not approve of the relationship. She starts to subtly block and subvert the romance, with dangerous consequences. A chilling tale exploring the power that a caregiver can exert over a wheelchair user’s life.

 

About BBC AMERICA

BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the Peabody Award-winning series Killing Eve starring Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winner Sandra Oh and Emmy® Award-winner Jodie Comer. The network is the definitive television home and co-producer of the most iconic natural history series including Planet Earth IIBlue Planet IIDynastiesSeven Worlds, One Planet and upcoming Meerkat ManorEden (w/t)Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III. BBCA transforms every Saturday into Wonderstruck, a weekly 24-hour destination for wildlife and wonder.  A joint venture between AMC Networks and BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC), BBCA’s influential shows such as Doctor WhoOrphan Black, and Luther, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Golden Globes®, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards, TCA Awards and more. New programming coming this fall and winter includes Top GearAnimal BabiesThe Graham Norton ShowCripTalesDoctor Who: The Faceless Ones animated special, Doctor Who: Revolution of the DaleksThe Watch and more. BBCA is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. Find out more by visiting press.amcnetworks.com.

 

About BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit

The Documentary Unit at BBC Studios is the home of high quality, thought-provoking and award-winning factual television. Powerful storytelling is at the heart of what we do, and this helps us take global audiences on gripping journeys underpinned by real journalism viewers can trust. Our distinctive, ambitious and informative output ranges from observational access series to history and arts and factual drama

Our Arts & History programming is critically acclaimed, with titles like the BAFTA-winning Basquiat: From Rage to RichesThatcher: A Very British Revolution, The Flu That Killed 50 million, and the multi-award-winning Arts strand imagine…

Working with some of the most highly regarded experts and creators in the UK, The Documentary Unit entertain and educate audiences with distinctive authored content, driven by bold storytelling, a strong sense of purpose and a breadth of specialist knowledge.

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