“Let’s Play Boccia!”

Canadian Paralympic Boccia Team

When I moved to Vancouver in the fall of 2008, I started my life, literally, on a blank slate. For a young person in his/her 20’s, this could be quite exciting… a whole new adventure waiting to happen. I was turning 38 that year and I was terrified.

It was my first time in Canada. And apart from my brother who had just migrated 3 months before me, I was a complete stranger to this city. I couldn’t get a job anywhere close to the film and video industry for I had no local experience or local references. That was fine by me. I thought I didn’t want to have anything to do with the video industry anyway, as it was part of a personal history I was trying to leave behind. The universe, obviously, had other plans.

My first job in Canada was working as a personal assistant to a person with a disability. I worked for a man who was born with cerebral palsy, confined to his wheelchair all his life, but is in fact, one of the most mobile individuals I have ever met.

Paul Gauthier introduced me to the world of disability. It is a world where people have quite a number of physical and/or mental challenges to overcome, and they do so with such grace, courage and strength. Paul also introduced me to the world of boccia… a paralympic sport I could neither spell nor pronounce before then. Paul is a paralympic boccia champion. And his dedication to the sport, along with everything else he does for the disability community, amazed me.

Paul Gauthier

I was compelled to produce this short documentary on the Canadian Paralympic Boccia team. It was my first video project after a self-imposed 3-year hiatus from video-making. I shot, wrote and edited the film partly because I didn’t know anyone in Vancouver to work with at the time, and partly because I didn’t have the budget to pay for anything or anyone. I finished the film in under $350 paying only for tape stock and royalty free music.

“Let’s Play Boccia!” premiered at the 2009 Vancouver Short Film Festival and won the Women in Film & TV Best Female Director Award. It has played in a few other festivals in the US and Canada after that, the most recent one being Picture This… International Disability Film Festival in Calgary, Aberta on Feb 16, 2011.

The best part about making this film though was working with Paul and the amazing athletes of the Canadian Paralympic Boccia Team. We all have our own challenges to overcome. But if we can face these challenges with a positive outlook and a brave heart, we are already miles ahead from competition.

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About Curly Tail Pictures
Angelina Cantada: Photographer. Filmmaker. Writer. Dog Walker.

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