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Benedict Cohen – 2021 Feature Finalist

Ability

When a corrupt official steals their benefits, a veteran must convince an oddball crew of disability claimants to help him pull off a heist.

I’m Benedict Cohen, a writer/director based in London, England. My stories make you feel like you’re being mauled by a savage dog. That turns out really just wants to play fetch. Confrontational, yet playful.

I recently directed a short film, BFF, for BBC3, and shorts that I have written and directed have shown at Oscar and BAFTA qualifying film festivals around the world.

Thanks to a chronic pain problem I couldn’t use a computer for five years. But the experience inspired me to write the feature film Ability. A heist caper, except — everyone’s disabled.

Our protagonist’s journey mirrors my own. PHIL (26) is a veteran who lost both legs and his sense of identity when he was crushed by a logistics truck in Iraq. He believed there was no hope for a meaningful life with a disability. But he learns that you can stand up and be counted, even without legs.

It’s a heist film like Ocean’s Eleven, except rather than a high-end casino, it’s a pokey office in a middling business park. And instead of experienced operators with a unique skill set, they each have their own disability to contend with. But living with a disability means that just to survive you have to plan for every moment and eventuality. The perfect training for a well-executed heist…

Contact Benedict Cohen: [email protected]

Website: https://benedictcohenfilm.com/

Instagram: @benedict_cohen

Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/BenedictCohen/