UNTITLED DWARFISM PROJECT
In 1994 the genetic mutation that causes achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, was discovered. In 2020, 26 years later, pharmaceutical companies are preparing to release the first genetic therapies intended to increase height and potentially reduce complications for children with achondroplasia. Our documentary film looks at the possibilities these new drugs offer, as well as the questions they present about how LP identity influences and connects us to each other. For some, these treatments threaten dwarf pride and our sense of self-determination – both as infants for whom parents will make key choices – and as a group whose medical options are shaped by scientists and clinicians who may not understand our lived experience. At the same time, many LPs and their parents wonder whether these drugs may offer our children healthier futures. Told from the perspective of filmmaker Julie Wyman who was diagnosed in adulthood with hypochondroplasia dwarfism, the film explores how medical diagnoses and treatments help us form—and question—our sense of identity and community.
Currently in production with generous support from the International Documentary Association, California Humanities, the Berkeley Film Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, and UC Davis, our film features a range of voices from within the LP community.