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Queens Chronicle

‘Don’t look down on me,’ little person says

Filmmaker from Queens makes a documentary to spread awareness

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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:30 am

Living in a big city you are exposed to a melting pot of people from different cultures and ethnicities as well as a lot of different views and opinions. Within such a huge conglomerate of people you’ll often find biases plaguing the minds of some. Being or seeming different in the eyes of the society brings about questions that can be annoying and frustrating to hear time and time again.

That’s how it can be for Jon Novick, 22, a Sunnyside resident who recently made a documentary called “Don’t Look Down on Me,” which shows the type of stares and comments he receives as a little person in New York City. Novick has a condition known as achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism, and stands 4 feet tall.

The six-minute documentary was released via YouTube and has been viewed there many times. Novick documented the ridicule he faced by using a hidden camera placed on his body which showed the curious faces of little children, people taking photographs and other sometimes vulgar comments that would be heard in passing.

Since the inception of the video and the role of social media he is becoming a familiar face in the city, having people coming up to him saying “Hey, I saw your documentary.”

Despite the recognition, Novick is still experiencing stares from young children and taunting that is a result of his appearance.

“I expected it to be well received by family and friends but not completely viral,” Novick said.

The project is a part of a LINK program, which focuses on documentaries based on different disorder issues, provides filmmakers with the resources they need to film their ideas.

“I wanted to stop telling people what happened to me and start showing people what happened to me,” said Novick.

Moving forward, Novick is looking to submit the video to a film festival. However, he is still in the brainstorming phase.

Since the release of the video, people of all disabilities and religions have been reaching out to him.

The video was shot mainly in Manhattan showcasing how people often stopped, asked and photographed him because of his condition.

He doesn’t want people to look down on him as he travels around the city.

“What we say, do, think, and act has more power over each other than we realize,” Novick said.

Welcome to the discussion.