One Little Finger : Ability in Disability

Over one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability, and the likelihood of experiencing disability at some stage in life pertains to everyone. Despite the large, global population dealing with disability and depression, the surrounding stigma ingrained in society detracts from the remarkable ability of many individuals. ONE LITTLE FINGER challenges these norms by ambitiously including over 80 persons with disabilities in the cast. These individuals represent various conditions, such as cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities, autism, down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, dementia, etc.

The primary goal of this movie is to bring awareness to this important human rights issue while promoting inclusion and diversity.Dr. Rupam Sarmah has challenged the norms to make a movie like this, going against all the odds.ONE LITTLE FINGER is a narrative feature film (English) co-produced in the US and India, with a theme of Ability in Disability.The film is written and directed by Rupam Sarmah and is based on real-life stories and the challenges of these children.“Using film media as a platform, we are allowing differently-abled people to act in this film alongside local and international award-winning actors to promote inclusion and diversity. More than 80 children and young adults with disabilities have acted in this film,” Rupam says.The movie was filmed over five years and across several locations in the US and India. Members of the cast and crew come from many different regions, namely Assam, Kolkata, South India, Mumbai, and the US.

All characters with disabilities in the film are portrayed by disabled cast members. Tamela D’Amico is a Hollywood actress and appears as a lead in the movie. Oscar-nominated composer and actress Siedah Garrett plays the role of Dr. Claudia. Abhinaya is a South Indian actress who is also hearing impaired, and her character has the same disability.Similarly, Den, diagnosed with cerebral palsy and rare genetic disorders, plays a character with conditions resembling his. Jeeja also plays a character with cerebral palsy, which she herself has. Some other noted actors include Jonathan Stoddard, Malaya Goswami, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Pabitra Rabha, Soumili Ghosh Biswas, and Kushal Chakravarty.The music is directed by Rupam Sarmah, who has made music therapy an integral part of the film. Many Grammy® winning artists were involved in the making of the soundtrack, including Academy Awards® winner Quincy Jones, Julian Lennon, Siedah Garrett, Kechi Okwuchi, Kevin Mackie, Padma Shri Sumitra Guha, and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. The background score is composed by Stephen Melillo and Rupam Sarmah. The film is edited by Arghyakamal Mitra and Debojit Dutta.

The Director of Photography is Asim Bose. The additional Cinematographer is Ayan Pratap. The soundtrack consists of songs from various languages (English, Assamese, Bengali, Hindi) and genres (e.g., rock, pop, classical, world-folk). These songs feature performances by world-class musicians like Quincy Jones, Siedah Garrett, Kechi Okwuchi, Grant Smith, Lonnie Park, Jann Klose, Anweshaa, Sumitra Guha, Rupam Sarmah, Subhamita, Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta, and others. The sound design is done by Anup Mukherjee and Rupam Sarmah.The film has rapidly attained international recognition and praise. With over 30 laurels, One Little Finger has been officially selected at worldwide film festivals in Los Angeles, Florida, Ohio, Italy, London, Spain, Delhi, and many others. Awards received include Best Film for Inspiration, Best FeatureFilm, Best Director, Best Music, Best Song, Best Actor, and the Human Rights Award at various film festivals and three Telly Awards.The director says, “It was quite challenging to start with unknowns as we had many children and young adults with variousdisabilities. Many people believe that disabled people are a burden on society, and they avoid them because they do not know how to act around them. Never underestimate their abilities. It opened my eyes. Our Thoughts –Words –Actions matter a lot. We are all going to face the challenges with disabilities as we age or take turns in our life. We all know someone, maybe our loved ones in our family, with some disabilities who need our love: could be our parents, friends, brothers, sisters, or children. So, treat them well with respect as a human being, and give them love and a helping hand.”

ONE LITTLE FINGER has several worldwide media partners, including PRERONAJorhat, Monovikas Kendra, UNESCO Center for Peace, IN THE MIRROR MUSIC, ABERRANT SOUND, The White Feather Foundation, LBR Music, Forest Nation, BrownOut Studios, Barn Castle, Salami Studios Hollywood, maZumba Media, RJ International, Rakshak Foundation, Enable India and others.“One Little Finger is not just a film. It’s a movement to break the barriers of the stigma of disability. All it takes is a change in perspective, a change in our mindset! Disability is only what we perceive; ability is everything of what we believe!”Few initiatives are goingon beyond this film -Research on Music Therapy, AI, and Neuroscience (RMAN), working with school districts, doctors, special needs schools, psychologists, etc. The research might give insight into early intervention on autism, dementia, depression, etc.The film will be released on Amazon, Google, Apple, and other digital platforms Worldwide on Nov 16, 2020


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