Indomitable is a 90-minute documentary with a powerful message about changing the perception of disability. Viewers of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning documentary Crip Camp will recognize the same passion and normalizing spirit.
The film follows 33-year-old filmmaker Alexander Freeman as he directs and produces a documentary about the lives of people with disabilities. Despite having cerebral palsy Alexander is determined to give a voice to others who do not always have one... all the while finding his own voice as a filmmaker.
Opening and closing on the day of his wedding ceremony in Amherst, Massachusetts, the film follows Alexander as he documents the challenges and victories of his life. He moves from a one-bedroom, low income Section 8 apartment in downtown Boston, Massachusetts to a market-priced two-bedroom apartment in Amherst, Massachusetts.
We meet former personal care attendants as well as his partner/personal care attendant Orina. We hear from his parents, his fellow film producer and assistive technology experts, all individuals instrumental to Alexander’s achieving and maintaining his independence.
Indomitable includes moving footage of the arrival of Alexander and Orina’s daughter, Maya, a typical life event which takes a different shape when one parent has a significant physical disability. And, after a long search and the help of his parents, Alexander and Orina buy a newly built modified and accessible one level ranch style house of their dreams in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Over the course of the film, Alexander interviews multiple people with disabilities from across the country including disability activist/public speaker/journalist Ola Ojewumi and actor CJ Jones. Many others living with disability share what they want the world to know about their abilities and accomplishments.
Indomitable is an uplifting film about the human spirit, drive and resilience. The film lovingly takes a deep dive into how disability has come to mean impossible to defeat…not impairment.
Alexander Freeman: Alexander Freeman is a South Hadley, Massachusetts based writer, producer, director, editor, actor with cerebral palsy. In 2016 Freeman won Best Documentary Feature at the Long Beach Indie International Film, Media and Music Festival, and Best Director of a Documentary at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards. He has won a number of other awards for his documentary The Wounds We Cannot See. Freeman has been featured on WBUR/NPR, ABC News and in many other publications for his documentary The Last Taboo about physical disabilities and sexuality. Freeman is the Founder, President, Owner of the social justice production company OUTCAST PRODUCTIONS.
Orina Umansky: Orina Umansky is Alexander Freeman's partner and Personal Care Attendant. Orina also has ADHD, dyslexia and is the mother of Alexander's daughter Maya Freeman.
Linda Freeman: Linda Freeman is Alexander Freeman's mother. She is a former Massachusetts Department of Public Health consultant and a disability advocate.
John Freeman: John Freeman is Alexander Freeman's father and retired patent attorney.
Brandon Golden: Brandon Golden is the producer of Indomitable and Alexander Freeman's close friend.
Deanna Evans: Deanna Evans is a legal assistant, mother and a former Personal Care Attendant for Alexander Freeman.
Seth Bryan: Seth Bryan is a comedian, actor and a former Personal Care Attendant for Alexander Freeman.
Kevin Berner: Kevin Berner is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Assistive Technology Professional. He works as a Clinical Supervisor in the Assistive Technology Department at Easter Seals of Massachusetts and as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University. He frequently presents at professional conferences.
Dan Halbert: Dan Halbert is a software and systems generalist, with 30+ years of experience. Areas of experience and expertise include: system architecture, design, and development; databases; user interfaces; programming languages and tools; object-oriented programming; speech recognition; face recognition; text processing and information retrieval; networking.
CJ Jones: CJ Jones is a deaf American actor and comedian based in Los Angeles, CA. For more than 35 years, Jones has shared his talents and experiences with cultural events and deaf and hearing schools and universities across the country and around the world. In 2017, Jones made his feature film debut in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver.
Sharon Pierre-Louis: Sharon Pierre-Louis, is an American actress based in Los Angeles, CA. She is best known for her recurring guest role on Freeform's Switched at Birth and her series regular role as Nisha Randall in The Lying Game.
Ola Ojewumi: Ola Ojewumi is an public speaker, activist, journalist and cancer survivor based in Washington, DC. Diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and the recipient of both a heart and kidney transplant, Ojewumi’s advocacy work began in high school. After writing to her school board about accessibility standards, she was asked to represent more than 150,000 students by serving on the Prince George’s County Disabilities Advisory Board. Her writings have been published by The White House, CNN, Huffington Post, Clinton Global Initiative, MTV, Glamour magazine, Intel and Essence Magazine.
Travis Shane: Travis Shane is a graduate of Perkins School for the Blind with Bardet-Biedl syndrome now living in Los Angeles, CA. Travis enjoys movies, pizza and wants to be a massage therapist.
Raya Umansky: Raya Umansky is a Wendy’s Restaurant crew member and volunteer at Hope Clubhouse of SW Florida Inc in Fort Myers, Florida. Raya who has bipolar disorder, charcot-marie-tooth disorder and developmental delays enjoys swimming, horseback riding and cooking.
Jay Ruderman: Jay Ruderman is an American activist and philanthropist. He is the President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which focuses on the inclusion of people with disabilities and on the education of Israeli leaders regarding the American Jewish community. The foundation maintains offices in Boston, Israel and New York City.
The journey from original idea to final film has been a long and eventful one, enhanced along the way by the input of others in the film and entertainment industries as well as disability rights advocates.
Challenges to the realization of the film included the film’s focus — judged to be lacking in wide appeal — which in turn influenced investor interest. This led to early thoughts of reshaping that focus.
In 2016, Brandon Golden, with his commitment to realizing Freeman’s vision of telling stories of the marginalized disabled, became an early producer of the film. Freeman had already attached his friend Oscar winner, Chris Cooper to the film. (Chris Cooper and his wife Marianne Leone Cooper had had joyful and painful experiences in raising a child with cerebral palsy. They have become ardent disability advocates.)
In November 2017, Freeman and Golden attended the Ruderman Inclusion Summit hosted by the lawyer, disabled rights activist, and philanthropist, Jay Ruderman. While at the summit Freeman and Golden met actor CJ Jones (Baby Driver) with whom they shared their film concept, leading to his involvement in the film.
In 2018, Freeman and Golden were still struggling to get the project funded, relying on private donations and looking for investors. In May 2018, Freeman and Golden met with Executive Producer Kevin Bright (Friends). Bright, an Emerson College alum like Freeman and Golden, has long shown an interest in encouraging, supporting and mentoring those with disabilities in their film careers.
Bright was instrumental in helping Freeman and Golden to re-imagine the film’s focus and to widen its appeal as well as giving Freeman the early support needed for the production. From these discussions emerged the film’s title Indomitable with it’s its focus on following Freeman as a filmmaker with a disability. Freeman’s own journey is partnered with GoPro footage of others with disabilities. These individuals captured the footage on their own, as they went about their daily lives.
From August 2018 to August 2021, Indomitable has been in production filming in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington D. C., California and Florida. Indomitable is expected to be released in 2022.