23-year-old filmmaker Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi from Riddrie in Glasgow has a disability that means she needs 24/7 support. Kiana is producer, director and star of a new 4-minute campaign film ‘Tax on Me’. The ‘Care Tax’ affects Kiana and over 10,000 other people with disabilities in Scotland. It costs individuals a total of £18 million a year.
Kiana makes her protest against the injustice of care charges using the unexpected format of hip-hop – with music track by the renowned Indian-Scottish hip-hop artist Bigg Taj, recent winner of third place in the UK Beatbox Championships.
‘Tax On Me’ tells Kiana’s own story. Kiana needs support to make her daily life possible; the ‘Care Tax’ claws back money from her wages, benefits and student bursary. She sees it as unjust financial discrimination against disability. Her new film “fights the Care Tax one beat at a time”.
Kiana made her new film at the award-winning media company media co-op, in collaboration with campaigning group Scotland Against The Care Tax. The petition against the Care Tax has been lodged at the Scottish Parliament.
Kiana said “If you took someone off the streets and tied them up, everyone would be outraged. But the ‘Care Tax’ denies people like me my human rights to move about, to work, to live my daily life. I made my film ‘Tax on Me’ because I know thousands of other people in Scotland are affected by this injustice the same way as me. My film is a call to action to expose the ‘Care Tax’ and abolish it. I call on people to share the film on social media to spread the word.”
Jeff Adamson founder of the campaign Scotland Against The Care Tax said “The insidious ‘Care Tax’ is a burden placed on disabled people where we have to pay twice for the social care support we require to exercise our duties and responsibilities as full and equal members of society. I’m thrilled with Kiana’s new film ‘Tax on Me’ because it’s such a creative, original and even beautiful way to personalize the story. This film will get the message across to more people across Scotland. We need to fight together to change the system.”
Louise Scott, producer at Glasgow-based media company media co-op, said “I first met Kiana when she was a student at the Screen Academy and I was her industry tutor. media co-op gave Kiana the chance to make her film ‘Tax on Me’ because we’re so impressed by her talent as a film-maker, and we’re outraged about the ‘Care Tax’. media co-op believes in promoting equality. All of us at media co-op are tremendously proud of Kiana’s film. As a young disabled woman entering the film industry, Kiana is already battling against discrimination and prejudice. It’s so unfair that on top of that, she is financially penalised just because she needs support to do her job. We hope her film helps get the protest message out to more people.”
Bigg Taj, composer of the music track on the film, said “Hip hop has always been the voice for people who are struggling or wanting to raise awareness. I didn’t know anything about the ‘Care Tax’ until Kiana approached me with the idea of a song based on the subject. It opened my eyes to what people go through just to get by. Real eye opener. I’m so happy that Kiana and I collaborated for this track. Her film is powerful, hard-hitting and original. I feel proud to be part of it.”