THE ABILITY EXCHANGE directed by Bing Wang
The Ability Exchange I directed by Bing Wang I RT 1 hr 15 min I USA I English
* Q&A With Filmmaker Bing Wang and NYU professor ALLAN GOLDSTEIN after the screening
“The Ability Exchange” is an intimate documentary film that delves into an innovative Disability Studies course at NYU Tandon where engineering students and self-advocates with cerebral palsy team up to make movies. This observational “empathy engine” illustrates the trajectory of personal growth and bonding that these first time filmmakers experience in the classroom and beyond, during a journey of which the line between ability and disability gets blurred, traditionally assigned roles of “filmmakers” and “subjects” blend, and the definitions of “normalcy” and “inspiration” are challenged. “The Ability Exchange” thus invites the viewer to reflect on what it takes to understand and appreciate a person, a community, a culture, and how this exchange of abilities and perspectives empowers lives
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
As a documentary filmmaker, Bing adores cinéma vérité and strives to deploy various visual methods to serve the underprivileged. His first student film, DIVA GRANDMA, inspired by his love for his grandmother, explores a musical cross-generational relationship that outlives language and cultural barriers. Its follow-up, SINGING JADE, features a troupe of elderly opera performers in Columbus Park and ponders what it means to grow old as an immigrant and an artist. THE ABILITY EXCHANGE, a soon-to-be-released feature-length documentary that Bing produced, directed, shot, and edited, explores the transforming relationship between engineering students and self-advocates with cerebral palsy in an intimate class setting at NYU Tandon. Bing also associate produced Ursula Liang’s award-winning documentary “9-Man” and is both currently editing Heather White and Lynn Zhang’s feature “Who Pays The Price: The Human Cost of Electronics” and developing a new project about gay deaf parenting (for which he is researching how to improve “deaf cinema” technically, aesthetically, and ethically).
Bing was concurrently awarded an M.A. from the Cinema Studies Program at the Tisch School of the Arts and a Culture and Media Certificate from the Anthropology Department at New York University. Beyond his documentary film projects, Bing works as a video production specialist for the Sign Language Center in Manhattan and freelance video editor for a number of organizations, including the Guggenheim Museum. Bing grew up in Harbin, China and lives in Brooklyn, New York.