Kire Paputts is a Toronto-based filmmaker. Having previously co-directed The Last Pogo Jumps Again, a feature-length documentary charting the early days of Toronto punk rock scene, he is currently in the process of developing his first feature-length drama, The Rainbow Kid which builds on his short film, Rainbow Connection.
What originally inspired you to make Rainbow Connection?
I was on set for another film one day, and between takes I started thinking, What if a guy with special needs went off to find the end of the rainbow and had this crazy, wacky adventure? What would he get up to?
The more I thought about it, I began to realise that when actors with special needs are featured in films, it’s always more through a ‘sympathetic lens’, or handled with kid gloves to some extent. There’s nothing really out there with mature subject matter that has an actor with special needs. Why is that? People with special needs are capable of doing things ‘normal’ people can do, so I figured it would be interesting to put such a person in situations that would be extremely tough even for people who don’t have a disability, and show them persevering in those situations.
How will The Rainbow Kid relate to the original short?
The main idea was always intended a feature film, but I thought I should make a short film first to see how things go. We couldn’t cram the whole adventure into the running time, so I took what’s basically the first act – Eugene’s background and reasons for going off on this adventure – and shoot that.
What sort of film will the end result be?
I think people can get a little wary when they hear things like ‘It’s a film starring an actor with special needs.’ People might be concerned at whether they can carry a feature film, but I’d like to show that they can. You can have a story that’s gripping, and also hopefully change the perspectives of some people out there on what they think an actor with special needs can actually accomplish.
How far along are you in production?
At the moment we’re focusing on getting the script right and raising awareness and funds, which is why we launched a Kickstarter campaign. It’s running for a month, and if we’re successful, great, but if not, we still plan to start shooting in Fall. It’s been almost four years in the making now, on and off. It feels like the idea has to get done now – I can’t wait another year to do it.
You can find more information about Thee Rainbow Kid at www.therainbowkid.com