Cameron Mitchell on Disabilities Casting with Co-Op | Slamdance 2021 [Exclusive Interview]

Cameron S. Mitchell
Cameron Mitchell directed the short film Co-Op

One of the trends recently with film festivals is with the promotion of people with disabilities (PWD) in cinema.

Despite that a strong minority of Americans have some form of disability, there is a lack of PWD characters on screen. And, if they are portrayed on screen, then eighty percent of the time are played by an actor with disabilities.

Slamdance Film Festival hopes to change the image by promoting its new program called, “Unstoppable” that showcases films for creators with disabilities.

One of those films, Co-Op, is a humorous short film about a robbery of a small grocery market not going off as planned. In this dark and twisted film, it seems like a typical convenience store, but the robber soon realizes the store has a lot of customers with certain disabilities.

The short film stars Josh Matthews, Emilie Krause, Vince McNeil, James Curran, Emma Jane Mitchell, David Mitchell, Cheryl Maguire, and Brittany Blythe. Cameron Mitchell wrote and directed the project.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Cory Reeder and Diana Elizabeth Jordon on Featuring People with Disabilities in Best Friend | Slamdance 2021 [Exclusive Interview]

LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with director and writer Cameron Mitchell on the creation of this dark comedy short film. We talked about using a convenience store as a set and using people with real disabilities as part of the cast.

Cameron Mitchell is a graduate of Temple University. This short film is his directorial debut but worked in the industry as a cinematographer and commercial director for over a decade. He has a documentary feature in production with Disposable Humanity.

Co-Op started off as an entry for the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge that requires a creator to produce the film within 72 hours. This short film ended up being featured in more than a dozen film festivals worldwide, including Holly Shorts, and Festival Inclus Barcelona.

Co-Op is now streaming at the Slamdance Film Festival. Visit www.slamdance.com for ticket information.

Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Slamdance

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