The Sun Valley Film Festival recently announced that the independent feature film “Making Sense” will have a work-in-progress screening at noon Thursday, March 19, at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum. The film is the first to feature five people with disabilities, each who lack of one of the primary senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell). “Making Sense” was filmed entirely in Idaho and features an all-Idaho cast and production crew.
The screening will be the first time a live audience will see the film, which is nearly complete with the exception of some special effects and final music. The screening is free and open to the public. A Q and A with the cast and crew will follow.
“Making Sense” is the story of an aging neuroscientist who teams up with a group of young graduate students to prove his hypothesis that individuals with disabilities hold the key to unlocking a sixth sense, before his past catches up with him.
“We’ve created something fun and entertaining that helps turn the disability equation on its head. Instead of focusing on disability, the film exemplifies the unique abilities our diverse cast brings to the table,” said Gregory Bayne, the film’s director, producer and co-writer. “It was an opportunity step out of my usual wheelhouse and pay homage to some of the films of my youth – Tron,’ ‘WarGames,’ ‘Back to The Future’ – in a fresh and interesting way.”
The cast features Richard Klautsch, a professor and department head in the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing, and Jessi Melton in lead roles. Klautsch, who plays Dr. Fredrik Amberger, is a veteran actor in the Idaho theater community, having acted for 21 seasons at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and in regular performances at Boise Contemporary Theater. Melton starred in several short, independent films in Idaho before landing the role of Jules in an open audition that drew more than one hundred local actors.
Five acting newcomers play supporting roles, representing the five physical senses. Mike Barnett (sight), Taylor Gonzalez (hearing), Miguel Ayala (taste), Makenzie Ellsworth (touch) and Nyk Fry (smell) were cast after open auditions were held at JUMP, the Boise creative center and community space.
Bayne’s previous work spans features, shorts, documentaries and digital series. Last year, Bayne released the independent feature “6 Dynamic Laws for Success (In Life, Love and Money)” available on Amazon Prime. “Making Sense” was co-written and executive produced by Doug Cole, an advocate for inclusion for those with disabilities and co-founder of the charity IncludeAbility Inc.
“Making Sense” bucks the trend of disability being underrepresented in films. Only 2.7 percent of characters in the 100 highest-earning movies of 2016 were depicted with a disability, despite 20 percent of the U.S. reporting a disability, according to a 2017 study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
For more information on the film, including a video teaser, visit www.makingsense-film.com