Born with a disability so rare that no reliable statistics for it existence, filmmaker Ella Glendining wonders if there is anyone who can share the experience of living in a body like hers. In her documentary feature debut, Ella poses this simple question, IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE. It’s a question which non-disabled people often take for granted. IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE leads to a journey to not only others who live like her, but to the realization that meeting them changes how she sees herself in the world. With intimate personal diaries, conversations with similarly bodied people and doctors treating her condition, and a searching and unique perspective, IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE invites the viewer to consider questions and assumptions they may have never encountered before. Are people born this way to be “fixed” by medicine? Is it ableist to see disabled people as living an undesired existence? With warmth and an infectious joy for her body and life as it is, Glendining takes you on an unforgettable experience that will change how you see others, like and unlike you. Director and writer Ella Glendining joins us to talk about her search for a similarly bodied person, traveling to America, meeting a well-known surgeon specializing in corrective surgery, her life affirming takeaway from the quest and the pride that comes with being an accomplished filmmaker.
About the filmmaker – Ella Glendining is a writer-director dedicated to telling authentic disabled stories. She has written and directed short films (Octopus, Born, Like Sunday) with backing from Film4, the BFI, Arts Council England, Screen South, and the National Paralympic Heritage Trust. Glendining was named one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow 2020. She is currently writing a feature fiction film called Curiosities of Fools for the BFI.