Sam Downie

Neurodiverse Award-nominated Filmmaker & Actor

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SAM DOWNIE is an autistic award-NOMINATED filmmaker.

He’s also a prolific speaker on Autism, Epilepsy, Disability and Mental Health, by talking about it, openly.

Despite the struggles he faces living on the Autistic spectrum ( such as discrimination and not being understood ), Sam has achieved what many filmmakers aspire to do, which is, to develop, shoot, edit and screen award-winning films, using a combination of skills, talent and techniques.

Sam has taken part in many projects to develop films, such as the Different Voices Neurodiversity Film project from Biggerhouse Film and 104 Films the leaders in Disability Films for Cinema and TV.

As an Actor and Presenter with Autism / Epilepsy, he’s been on stage, behind the mic and on screen, for over two decades, appearing on TV drama’s such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Teachers, Coronation St, The House of Elliot.. He’s been on stage at the world famous Bristol Old Vic in various productions… He’s been on TV as a Presenter and Guest on Click (BBC News), The Gadget Show (Channel 5), ITV News… and Sam’s also been a Presenter and Guest on various Podcasts including MacBreak Weekly (TWiT TV), Tekzilla (Revision 3 / Discovery TV), Inside Mac Radio, and of course his own Podcast’s Bristol Sounds and Tech:Casts (which you can find on this very website – just CLICK HERE to Listen ).

Sam Downie filmmaker interviews autism epilepsy disability mental health expert influencer

Different Voices - Life Magnified

An ongoing film talent development programme for emerging Neurodiverse film makers and creatives from the Bristol area.

filmmakers disability autism different voices films actor voice bristol london UK sheffield doc/fest awards

“…… neurodivergent – i.e. being dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic, or having other learning difficulties or neurological/cognitive conditions, or experiencing yourself as someone whose way of relating to the world and other people is outside of the norm.”
Dr. Daniel Oliver

Different Voices is a opportunity for emerging Filmmakers and creatives from the Neurodiverse community to participate in a Disability Cinema talent development programme in Bristol.

It’s aims are :

  • to foster a new generation of filmmakers, working from a voice that is under represented in mainstream cinema.
  • to explore a wide range of skills covering animation, FX green screen filming, studio work, music production, editing, drama production and scriptwriting.
  • to enable the design of an individual project development plan.
  • to gain an understanding of the film market and opportunities and develop strategies to get films made and build a career in the film industry.
  • to build on our existing community of neurodiverse talent in the region.

This BFI ScreenSkills project was delivered by biggerhouse film with professional development from Alex Usborne at 104 films who are the World Leaders in Disability Cinema, in association with the Arnolfini, Bristol.

Different Voices – Life Magnifed – follows on from the success of the two previous projects which ran in Bristol in 2017. So far 24 short films have been produced, which have been screened in cinema’s at many festivals including Sheffield Doc Fest, the Edinburgh film festival, and Encounters Film Festival in Bristol..

different voices logo bristol biggerhouse film 104 films disability cinema
Biggerhouse Film
BFI funding ScreenSkills Funding 104 Films Biggerhouse Bristol Unesco Film City disability short film Blakwave channel 4
Sheffield Doc Fest 2019 – Film Screening

On Friday 7th June 2019 at 6pm, 10 Neurodiverse Filmmakers took to the stage at the famous Sheffield Doc/Fest in Sheffield.

We delivered an exclusive screening as part of the Different Voices project from 104 Films & Biggerhouse Film. The screening included a showing of my short film “Unique Human” as part of the packed-out event.

Sheffield Doc Fest 2019