Contributed photo Niek Theelan and Jessica Swainson’s characters attempt to get to know each other in the Red Deer-made film, ‘The Worst Date Ever.’

Red Deerians with disabilities help create ‘Worst Date’ film over a weekend

The short was submitted for Easterseals film challenge

A short film made over a weekend by Central Albertans with disabilities is in the running for an international Easterseals film contest.

The plot of The Worst Date Ever concerns everything going wrong when two young people with cerebral palsy attempt a first date – including a runaway car, a hysterical support worker, and a fright-induced pant-peeing incident.

Producer Jason Steele, who teaches film and theatre at The Hub on Ross, is hoping for far better luck in real life, having submitted the five-minute short to the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

The international competition seeks to raise public awareness of all the things disabled people can do (one criteria is that people with disabilities be involved in the project), as well as to burst misconceptions about the limitations of people with physical challenges.

Steele, who with a previous team of disabled people created Coconuts, a second-place winning puppetry film from the Central Alberta Film Festival, is pleased to be able to again showcase the multiple talents of various patrons of The Hub.

Among them are Jessica Swainson, lead writer for The Worst Date Ever and one of the film’s principal players, and Niek Theelan, who plays the other half of the dating couple.

Both Swainson and Theelan have cerebral palsy. Linnea Hass, who depicts the freaked-out support worker, has Asperger’s.

Steele said the slap-stick film goes to extremes to put across the message: Stop underestimating people with disabilities. “You need to be supportive, but you don’t need to stop them, or treat them in an infantile way.”

He understands most of us don’t mean to talk down to people with disabilities, but it often happens “and we’d like to see that improved.”

The Easterseals contest winners will be announced May 10.

In the meantime, The Worst Date Ever can be seen on YouTube by searching the film’s title and Easterseals film challenge.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Street Tales: Life is filled with unlearned lessons

There are days that I almost believe evolutionists in that we are… Continue reading

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

OTTAWA — Canadians are generally supportive of current immigration levels, a survey… Continue reading

Quebec announces plan to compensate taxi drivers after Uber’s arrival

MONTREAL — The Quebec government has outlined how it intends to compensate… Continue reading

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

OTTAWA — The loss of Saudi Arabian resident physicians in Canada’s hospitals… Continue reading

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month