The documentary Re-Inventing The Wheel follows a couple who are just beginning to navigate their lives after a spinal cord injury.
“I was just new to the wheelchair. Everything was different, everything was kind of uncomfortable and you’re always in different situations that you’re not comfortable with. This documentary with strangers was just another thing to tack on,” said Dan McLean.
The documentary follows McLean, alongside his wife Colleen Mosterd-McLean, and a group of others, many with spinal cord injuries of their own.
“It was also important for us just get back to living and the group was so key in doing that for us so it’s an opportunity to get to know everybody,” said Mosterd-McLean.
The documentary shines a light on the importance of a strong support system for people dealing with big life changes.
“I think there’s like an intimidation factor when somebody thinks about a peer support group,” said Accessible Okanagan president James Hektner.
“They think that they’re going into a group that’s probably going to be talking about the negative, and the downers about what they’re going through and of course there’s aspects of that. I mean, there’s definitely challenges people are going through on a daily basis and what we do with our Accessible Okanagan community is encourage people to get out and be active and be enthusiastic and be around a positive group of people.”
Influenced by her own life experiences, Kelowna director Chelsea McEvoy wanted to demonstrate that there is a full life to live after a spinal cord injury.
“I’d like to say that that we’re spreading a little bit of awareness and education and entertainment of what being in a wheelchair is like,” said McEvoy.
“That it’s not all doom and gloom, even though some aspects of it is sad but also that life goes on and resilience is key.”
The documentary has spent the last year on the festival circuit, winning multiple awards, such as Best Feature Documentary at the Toronto Independent Film Awards and Best Documentary at the Chelsea Film Festival.
“With documentary films, you really don’t know where it’s going to go and that’s the case with this one when we finished we knew we had something of importance and we knew that also when we screened with the local S.C.I. (spinal cord injury) community,” said Ryan Tebbutt, Re-Inventing The Wheel producer.
Re-Inventing The Wheel can now be streamed online, to find out how you can watch visit its Facebook page.