“It’s great, they screwed up all the codes.” Artus savors the rise of the steps in Cannes, Wednesday, of his troupe of actors with disabilities at the heart of Un p’tit thing en plus, a big success with 3.4 million admissions. This happy group, all smiles, was very applauded and walked the red carpet to the sound of Organized Band, a hit from the Marseille collective 13’Organisé, headed by the rapper-star Jul, played by the DJ from the rise of the steps.

Marie Colin, one of the disabled actresses, put on a show with a mini-parade at the foot of the steps in a cream evening dress. “Marie, she has a banana, we have to do like her, we have to stop being so angry,” rejoiced comedian Artus. “I hope this will change things, we have to open up to these people that we try to hide most of the time.”

To celebrate this surprise box office success, the Cannes Film Festival invited the entire team of this comedy, which aims to laugh with disabled people and not at their expense, to take the steps. Artus had publicly regretted that no luxury brand had lent them an outfit. They were finally dressed by the brands of the luxury group Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga…). “Marie, we stay together all the same, there you go alone with your necklace, we’re going to get robbed,” Artus laughed.

Then this part of the cast – eleven actors with disabilities and four without disabilities – then walked on La Croisette to a private beach, to the sound of a speaker carried by a member of Festival security. We heard a remix of Dalida, which appears in the film’s soundtrack. A sound appreciated by Stanislas Carmont, one of the disabled people in the film, who is also one of the voices of the rock group Asteréotypie – a collective of singers with autistic disorders – who released the delightful album Nobody looks like Brad Pitt in the Drôme. It is the singers, supported by non-disabled musicians, who write their texts in this group.

Clovis Cornillac, who held the hand of Thibaut Conan, another disabled actor, spoke about the “fabulous” success of the film. “When you’re younger, when it happens, you tell yourself that it’s like that all the time, but no, with age you know that you have to take advantage of these moments.” For Marc Riso, classic actor, it is “the poetry” which emerges from the 11 disabled actors which partly explains “the magic” of the film, he explained. “Actors with disabilities must have more roles, be more present, we must no longer be afraid of them.”

This is also what is called for in a column signed by the actresses Léa Drucker, Alexandra Lamy and Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache on the Libération website on Wednesday evening, for a “reform of the status of intermittent workers in the entertainment industry, towards the artists disabled” in cinema and on television. “We do not yet allow disabled people enough to hold the camera or be in the spotlight, due to a lack of sufficient resources to finally initiate a virtuous circle,” deplores the Union of Cinema Professionals with Disabilities. (SPCH).

The union proposes to “allow professionals recognized as disabled workers (RQTH) to obtain intermittent status after 250 hours per year (and not 507)”. And to “better articulate the status of intermittent workers with existing aid such as the Disabled Adult Allowance – AAH”. Artists with disabilities “can find themselves without an allowance for several months after obtaining a role or a job on a production,” he specifies. In A little thing in addition, Clovis Cornillac and Artus play two little thugs, father and son, who hide in the middle of a summer camp for young people with mental disabilities, in order to escape the police.

For their part, associations helping people with disabilities have a divided opinion on the representation of disability in Artus’ film. Questioned by the Huffingtonpost, the vice-president of APF France Handicap, Hélène Vallantin-Dulac, believes that this film is a “springboard towards living together”. An opinion that is not unanimous: “As long as films and scripts about disabled people are made by able-bodied people, we will not like it,” says Céline Extenso, activist with the Dévalideuses. Still in this same article, she considers that the film puts “pink paint on the problems of disabled people”, presenting them as “cute beings who have no worries”.

The associations nevertheless recognize the goodwill of Artus and are delighted to see disabled actors playing these roles. The social and inclusion director of Handicap International, Hervé Bernard, maintains at Huffingtonpost that the film shows “interesting passages outside of institutions (…) it does not focus on the difficulties of people, but rather on their creativity “. The spotlight on the profession of specialized educator is also welcome: “At a time when people are looking for meaning in their profession, it is interesting to show the meaning of working with people with disabilities” , concludes Hervé Bernard.