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Inclusivity is the goal of FOA and nowhere is this demonstrated more effectively than in the 2017 Open Entrant sections.

For some, this competition presents an opportunity to participate, offering through the films a glimpse into the lives of the people who have made them. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Almost always, there is a joyous, give-it-a-go attitude at play and a lot of special moments that get captured along the way. Notable among these are two organisations, Northern Support Services and ARC Disability Services, who have each submitted multiple entries that give a pretty good indication of how much fun they are having as they bust some fancy DJ moves, deliver some funny advice from the date police, dive into some colourful artwork with Super Pig and team up with T-Bay High School's dance students to deliver some elaborate choreography. Special mention has to be made of NSS's Campbell Vinson, who writes and performs an incredible diversity of original music for the films.

Both Short Film and Documentary categories present an extraordinary array of styles and techniques. Hocus Focus Media shows you don't need a massive budget to deliver detailed period sets, costumes and even cars (!) in Meagan McGregor's tall tale of reverse discrimination. Sally Newman's Little Sparrow employs interesting visual effects in a combination of flashbacks and magic realism to tell the story of singer Stacee Parkinson. The special effects get a darkly comic turn with an arguing angel and devil in Evan Rowe's The Dr's Appointment.

Recollection by David Hoey delivers great cinematography by Julian Pertout, assured layering of images and skilful editing to evoke a blind pianist's remembrance of sight. Jaina Kalifa's look into the life of deaf artist Donna McDonald reaches far beyond the issues of disability to reveal a rich, multi-layered story touched by tragedy, uplifted by friendships and dignified by a strong sense of social responsibility.

And what can we say about The Life and Imagination of Mr MacMurray except...Drone shot! Training montage! Super spy who likes his shandy shaken not stirred!

Which films do you think will get the judges awards on September 6?




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