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Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won
Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (w/t) is based on the remarkable true story of the people behind an irrepressible campaign of direct-action that lead to significant steps forward in the battle for disabled civil rights in Britain.
Written by multiple BAFTA winner Jack Thorne and award-winning actor-turned writer Genevieve Barr, the film tells the story through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki (Ruth Madeley) and Alan Holdsworth two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989 and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN - the Direct Action Network whose fearless and coordinated protests pushed the campaign for disabled rights into the spotlight.
The film will be directed by Bruce Goodison and Amit Sharma. Bruce is a BAFTA winning director whose credits include BBC Three’s Murdered by My Father and BBC One’s hit drama Doctor Foster. Amit was one of several directors for BBC Four’s Prix Italia winning and BAFTA nominated Crip Tales and has previously been associate director of Graeae Theatre Company.
About Ruth Madeley
Ruth Madeley is a BAFTA nominated actress, named as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits in 2017. In 2016 Ruth was also nominated for a Leading Actress BAFTA award for her role as ‘Anne Watson’ in the BAFTA award-winning BBC Three drama Don’t Take My Baby, written by Jack Thorne, the hour-long drama follows a young disabled couple fighting for custody of their new-born daughter. In 2019 Ruth played one of the key roles in critically acclaimed BBC One/ HBO series Years and Years written by Russell T. Davies.
Ruth recently finished filming The Almond and The Seahorse alongside Rebel Wilson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trine Dyrholm, Meera Syal and Celyn Jones. Ruth can also most recently be seen in the BBC series The Watch, directed by Craig Viveiros and Brian Kelly. Next, Ruth can be seen in The Cleaner a new BBC comedy series written by and starring Greg Davies.
Ruth Madeley, actress said “To have the opportunity to play such an incredibly powerful character and tell such an important story is honestly a dream, especially within the context of disabled, deaf and neuro-diverse history. As soon as I saw the script I knew this was going to be something so special and I am couldn't be happier to work with Jack and Gen on a drama that deserves to be front and centre on screen.”
Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts & Classical Music said “This is an incredible group of creatives who have come together to tell a remarkable and ground-breaking story. We couldn’t be more proud to commission this film for the BBC.”
Jack Thorne, writer said “Ruth Madeley is one of those rare actors who take scripts and turns them into something else. She does things with words and makes human and fragile even the smallest thing like putting on a kettle. I emailed two people when I was offered the chance to tell this incredible story - one was Genevieve and the other was Ruth. We wrote every word for her and we love her and I’m so excited to work with her again.”
Tom Pullen, executive producer said “It’s such a privilege to see Ruth and our incredible directing team coming together to bring Jack and Genevieve’s extraordinary script to life. Their combined creativity, talent and personal passion for the subject matter is certain to make this an unmissable film.”