And What Next? Demanding Change

Please note that this event has now ended. You can watch a recording of the panel discussion on our YouTube channel.

Following the theatrical release and a BAFTA nomination for Ella Glendining’s feature documentary Is There Anybody Out There? and with the film now available on Netflix and On Demand, we are pleased to present a special roundtable event celebrating disabled filmmaking and disability joy, while confronting the film industry’s barriers and ableism.

Hosted by film and culture writer Lillian Crawford, the roundtable will feature a conversation between filmmakers Ella GlendiningJessi GutchJustin Edgar and Ted Evans, who will discuss their individual experiences as disabled and deaf people forging a career in the film industry, disabled joy and community, the barriers that still persist, and what needs to happen next.

Ahead of the conversation, we’re screening a programme of short films by the featured filmmakers: Verisimilitude (written and produced by Justin Edgar), Retreat (directed by Ted Evans) and Pyramid of Disunion (directed by Ella Glendining and Jessi Gutch).

How to take part in the event

The three short films will be available to watch at any time on 14 March, though we encourage you to use the schedule below so that you can join the live roundtable at 8pm straight after watching the films. You can watch the films and roundtable using the menu at the top right corner of this page or the links below.

You can keep up to date with future events on the Cinema of Ideas by joining our mailing list.

Suggested viewing schedule – Thursday 14 March

7pm – 7:50pm: Watch the three short films (VerisimilitudeRetreatPyramid of Disunion)
7:50pm – 8:00pm: Break
8:00pm – 9:00pm: Join the live conversation with Ella Glendining, Jessi Gutch, Ted Evans, Justin Edgar and Lillian Crawford


The three short films will all have descriptive subtitles and audio description available (click on the cog icon in the video player, then on the audio track menu, and select audio description to view). To adjust the captions, click the cog icon next to the word ‘Subtitles’.

The live roundtable discussion will be live-captioned and BSL-interpreted. The BSL video will automatically be shown on-screen, and the captions can be viewed on a separate URL (we will provide this in an email to ticket holders in advance of the event, as well as in the livestream chat during the event).

If you have any queries about the event, please contact us at:

Film programme


Struggling disabled actress Bella (Ruth Magdeley) gets a job as a disability consultant for rising British star Josh Baron, whose latest role is the inspiring true story of an army veteran who lost his legs in combat and went on to become a Paralympic medal-winning athlete. If he can get it right and give the performance of his career, it’s a part with Oscar written all over it. Josh is everything you’d expect a film star to be: ambitious, narcissistic, ruthless and desperate to win awards.

Directed by David Proud
Written and produced by Justin Edgar
Run time: 13 minutes


An injured man limps through the woods, pursued by members of the commune he has stolen from. Risking her own safety, a woman from the community tries to help him but plays innocent when he is captured and held hostage by her leader. The man poses both a physical and existential threat to their way of life as society crumbles beyond their boundaries.

Ted Evan’s atmospheric short film responds perfectly to its low-budget restrictions, powered by the strength of its ideas and the quality of its performances. As with his second short The End, Evans is interested in the notion of Deaf ‘survival’, the visibility of the Deaf community and its relationship to broader society.

Directed by Ted Evans
Run time: 22 minutes

Pyramid of Disunion 

Wheelchair user Angel joins an eco-commune in search of a more meaningful existence, though bumping into an old flame means she gets more than she bargained for on her quest for inner peace.

Directed by Ella Glendining and Jessi Gutch
Run time: 16 minutes

How much should I pay?

Tickets for this event are available on a pay-what-you-can basis, so you can pay the amount that’s appropriate for you and your circumstances. See this guide for what we recommend you should pay for your ticket. Your ticket gives you access to both the roundtable discussion and the films.

£0 – £2: I find it difficult to meet everyday costs.
£4 – 6: I can meet everyday costs but sometimes find it challenging to do so.
£6 – 8: I can meet everyday costs.
£8 – 10: I can meet everyday costs comfortably and have savings.
£10+: I can meet everyday costs comfortably, have savings, and want to pay extra to help cover the cost of tickets for people who couldn’t attend otherwise.

When you pay a higher price for a ticket, you’re helping to subsidise a ticket for those on a lower income, so no one is priced out of taking part in this screening and event! The ticket cost(s) also help contribute to paying panellists for their time as well as access providers (such as captioners and BSL interpreters).

About the speakers

Justin Edgar

Justin Edgar’s last two films We are the Freaks and The Marker were streamed on Netflix. He began his career directing documentaries for Channel 4 and Doctors for the BBC and directed his first feature film Large for Film4 aged just 26. His second feature film Special People premiered at the 2007 TriBeCa Film Festival and went on to win a Royal Television Society diversity award. His company 104 films worked on the BAFTA-nominated Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and co-produced feature documentary Notes on Blindness which was nominated for three BAFTAs including Best British Film.

He has sat on the BAFTA debut jury, the disability screen advisory group for the BFI and advises Channel 4, the BBC and Netflix on disability. His film prints, including Special People, have been archived at the BFI as works of cultural significance and he is currently writing a book on disability in British Film for Bloomsbury and recently produced 4 short films with new disabled talent for Film4. His new feature film, Something Else, starring Maxine Peake, BAFTA Breakthrough nominee Conrad Khan (Peaky Blinders) and Morfydd Clark has been developed with funding from Creative Europe’s MEDIA programme and is due to shoot in late 2024.

Ted Evans

Ted Evans is a writer-director based in London. Starting his career at a small production company, Ted progressed from researcher to AP/Director at the BBC and in 2012 he co-wrote and co-directed two films for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Ted received international and critical acclaim for his award-winning shorts, The End and Retreat, which is currently being developed into a feature. In 2018 Ted was selected as part of Creative England’s CE50 and his most recent short drama To Know Him was nominated for Best Short Film at BIFA (2018). Ted has several original, high-concept projects in development and will direct Retreat in 2024. Other recent projects include One Look (Reprise) a music video with Sony Classical, the BBC1 documentary Signs for Change, featuring Rose Ayling-Ellis and Turn Up The Bass a Netflix short documentary.

Ella Glendining

Ella Glendining is a BAFTA-nominated Writer/Director. Is There Anybody Out There? premiered at Sundance 2023, and has won awards including the Silver Horn for the director of a film on social issues at Krakow Film Festival 2023, the prestigious FIPRESCI International Film Critics Prize, and the Bring the Change award at Biografilm Festival 2023. In 2024 Ella was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. Ella also secured two 2023 BIFA nominations, Best Debut Director – Documentary Feature, and The Raindance Maverick Award. Ella was one of three recipients of the BFI and Chanel Filmmaker awards 2023, celebrating ‘creative audacity’, and was named a BAFTA Breakthrough 2023. Ella is currently writing a historical drama feature she will also direct for the BFI, called Curiosities of Fools.

Jessi Gutch

Jessi Gutch is a BIFA nominated writer, award winning director and BAFTA Elevate/BFI Insight producer. Living with incurable ovarian cancer, she proudly identifies as a disabled filmmaker and tells stories that sit between fact and fiction, between dream and reality. Her slate of short films have screened at international festivals such as London Film Festival, BFI Flare, British Shorts Berlin, and Edinburgh, with Until The Tide Creeps In taking home both Best Documentary and Best of Festival at Aesthetica 2022, and Blind as a Beat winning Best Experimental Film at the Women Over 50 Film Festival 2022 and a Semi Finalist prize at Reel Abilities Film Festival in New York. Jessi is currently in post-production on her debut documentary feature Border Town and in development on her debut narrative feature My Cells are Trying to Kill Me.

Who we are

The Cinema of Ideas, from the Independent Cinema Office, is an innovative platform for amplifying different stories through collaboration, discussion and film.

Conic is a UK/Ireland distributor that loves incredible films.  

104 films is the UK’s leading production company and training provider focussing on disability.

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