• The Carer

      Templeton-Parker, Christine; University of Derby (Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, 2016-06-24)
      The Carer is a short drama commissioned for the Shine a Light series of short films. Under the scheme, funded by Derby QUAD and the Esmee Fairbairn Arts Foundation, several filmmakers from around the UK were briefed to illuminate the experiences of people little seen on screen. In this case, writer-director Christine Parker took inspiration from Seen Ya Rights, a group of elderly LGBT activists to realize a story that addresses their current concerns and experiences. Director’s Statement The Carer explores what happens when an elderly man feels pressured to return to the closet in his dying days. I have taken visual points of reference from classic gay texts such as Jean Genet and Mapplethorpe in the film, (such as the use of flowers), which is about finding a way to survive and even thrive, when your very identity is under threat. In that sense, it mirrors the struggle we all have to find a way to come to terms with who we are and retain continuity of identity. The people of Seen Ya Rights lived through times when homosexuality was illegal, through the aids epidemic, and have spent a lifetime battling for the right to be out, to be themselves. They feared that in old age they would lose this hard-won identity. However, they also wanted a story that did not portray a Gay character as a victim. So, in The Carer, I set out to celebrate the survival and wisdom of our elders, and to pay tribute to their love and generosity. Students and staff of the University were involved in the project as well as industry practitioners, so it was a great way to integrate research into teaching.