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Amy Street: more than meets the eye

Amy Street is an eight-part documentary web series that brings to life entertaining and heartwarming stories that aim to bridge the divide between people with intellectual disabilities, and mainstream society.

The series centers around the lives of the residents of The Supported Life Style Hauraki Trust. This charitable trust supports people with differing abilities within the small-town of Thames, on the Coromandel Peninsula.

In a world where the self-called ‘Life Stylers’ are sometimes labeled by their disability, Amy Street turns the spotlight on the people instead of the label. Taking a real look at the colourful lives of the residents, and their larger than life personalities, each of the eight documentaries focuses on the different residents of Amy Street. It explores their hopes, dreams, challenges and relationships as they navigate a complex world.

Filmmakers Kirsty Griffin and Viv Kernick developed Amy Street as a follow-up to their celebrated 2014 documentary Wayne, which focuses on a resident of The Supported Life Style Hauraki Trust for which the film is named. Wayne has garnered three laurels including an Award of Recognition at the Best Shorts Competition in Los Angeles.

It is the way in which Griffin and Kernick explore the humanness of these individuals and their lives that make Amy Street such compelling viewing. Take Topsy, whose story follows her excitement and preparation to marry fellow Amy Street resident Dave. She proudly states that she wants to get married “because my cousin is married. I want to give it a go. And just be normal.”

It is in these moments of unbridled honesty, where Griffin and Kernick make it so easy to emotionally connect with the characters and build incredibly empathetic responses in their viewers.

Amy Street is available to view online at amystreet.nz with the support of the NZ on Air Digital Fund.

Top image: Amy Street’s Paul Rolton

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