Robbie Streeting’s Show The World focused on ability

Robbie Streeting wants people with a disability to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.

That’s the message at the heart of the 25-year-old’s first documentary, Show The World, which was a part of the 2020 Focus on Ability Short Film Festival.

“I’m really passionate [about] disability. I went to a special ed school [and] I was pretty much one of those guys, like a leadership guy who likes to go ‘Hey, guys, this is not enough. You need to not say that you have a disability. It’s ability. And you can do a lot more stuff with that. You’re just a normal person pretty much in a wide world’,” Robbie told Inform.

Robbie, who lives in Brisbane, has an intellectual impairment. He was also recently diagnosed with autism. He says that he wants people that watch his documentary to focus on all the things he can do.

“I can go and travel overseas without my parents… just myself and budget my money and go overseas with my dance crew and dance at the Special World Games,” he said.

Robbie began taking hip hop classes in 2013. While he no longer takes classes, Robbie’s experience being part of a dance crew and travelling overseas to appear at the Special Olympics World Games is a big part of the documentary.

Friendship a solid foundation

Robbie collaborated with his long-time friend, Ryan Kennedy to produce the documentary.

“I sat down with him. He taught me how to do the editing, and stuff like that,” Robbie said.

Ryan, who has a background in television production, said that his friendship with Robbie gave the duo a solid foundation for creative projects.

“It makes it all flow so much easier. And makes making films and putting little videos together an absolute dream,” Ryan said.

Ryan went along with Robbie when he travelled overseas with his dance crew for the Special Olympics World Games in 2015. It was this trip that sparked the idea for the documentary earlier this year.

“We were talking about potential avenues of what we wanted to make a film about. I challenged Robbie and I said, ‘Hey mate, where do you think you’ve got your confidence from. Or what’s been a pinnacle moment in your life that you can look back on that you’re really proud of that maybe has celebrated your ability and it has rubbed off on other parts of your world?’ And I think [he] was really quick to recognise that that trip to LA was, like it was big stuff,” Ryan said. 

“Then it just dawned on us both that I have a hard drive full of two weeks of footage. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is a script waiting to happen’. And after that it all kind of flew together really quickly… We sat around and worked on some scripting and then hit the forest with some cameras. [We] had a lot of fun running up and down the path. It was great!”

A Show The World sequel

The response to Robbie’s documentary has been positive, leaving him feeling “pretty chuffed”.

“My mom had goosebumps on herself. She said she really liked it”

“I showed actually one of my teachers at TAFE, who has a daughter with a disability, and she cried. And I’ve been getting quite a few people saying, ‘I was teary when I watched your film’. And stuff like that.”

Having made his first documentary Robbie is already thinking about a sequel.

“I really enjoyed it and I really want to do another one. I really want to like make a like a second one to follow on from this.”

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