|Home||Films||Terms||Winners||About||Prizes||Judges||Sponsors||FOA in New York|
Focus on Ability Blog
With the 2017 deadline fast approaching, it seems like a good time to take another look at last year's winners and, in particular, two entrants from the schools' section. Every year, scores of schools from Australia and New Zealand activate their media classes, scour lost property for costumes, call on resources from across their communities, and turn their classrooms into film sets to produce an enormous cinematic range that covers every film style imaginable.
Judges' Choice Short Film winner, Seeing Shai (written and directed by Ming Dao Ting from Northside Christian College in Brisbane), demonstrates real cinematographic skill with a deceptively simple story based around a group of students discussing one of their classmates, Shai Mayberry, who has Downs Syndrome. Their conversation takes us inside the often well-meaning but misguided ideas about a person with disability. Showcasing great camera work, sophisticated editing and assured acting from the young cast, the film cuts between the circle of students, re-enactments of their misconceptions and footage of how Shai really lives and engages with his school. Deftly skewering the notion that Shai is someone to feel sorry for, it reveals a person who is more engaged and active in his community than any of them. The film culminates in a triumphant address to camera from Shai himself, proudly demanding that we see him not through 'what I cannot do but what I can do'.
Winner of the schools' documentary section, Through My Eyes, comes from Lyndale Secondary College in Victoria. This story focuses on Tom Anderson, a student with a degenerative vision impairment that may in time result in his becoming completely blind. Like Seeing Shai, the film opens with other people's perceptions, as Tom's friends and classmates offer their summations of him, from heartfelt admiration to declarations such as 'Tom is a modern day Einstein' that you suspect might have been suggested by Tom himself. From there on, the voice is all Tom's as he describes his life and attitude with eloquence, humour and a fearlessness that ultimately redefines 'normal'. Even if faced with the opportunity to fix his vision, he declares he 'probably wouldn't'.
These two fine films are standouts, but there were over 70 entrants from schools in 2016, all brimming with ideas, humour, invention and a deep understanding of their subjects.
You can see them all here:
Previous PostsPraise For FOA17
2017 was the most successful festival in FOA's nine-year history, with a record number of overall entries, participating countries and schools involved. Last month's gala awards night lived up ...
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
On 6th September, 600 guests congregated at the prestigious Concourse on Sydney's North Shore to attend FOA's 2017 Gala Awards Night. They were there to walk the red carpet, to enjoy beautiful ...
Open To All
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 ...
So here we are! You all got your entries in, right? Well, a lot of you did because the turnout for FOA 2017 has been massive! Record-breaking. Firstly, this is the most ever finalists the festival has ...
Martin's Grand Vision
The FOA Film Festival was set in motion nine years ago at the instigation of NOVA Employment's CEO of 25 years, Martin Wren, whose passion and advocacy for bringing disability into mainstream public ...
To speak to Ryan about your entry please email or contact him on Aus Mobile - 0414932987
With the 2017 deadline fast approaching, it seems like a good time to take another look at last year's winners and, in particular, two entrants from the schools' section. Every year, scores ...
Did you know you are living in a time of revolution? And that you are one of the revolutionaries? How, you say? Well, every time you shoot some video on your phone and post it on Facebook or YouTube ...
Disabled character or a character who has disability?
Every good character in film is written with challenges they must accommodate or overcome. Their inabilities are as important as their capabilities in order to create dynamic, engaging story arcs. The ...
Last post, I mentioned the New Zealand film Silence, one of the 2016 school entrant winners. It's an excellent piece of purist cinema that has a lot going on in its 5 minutes, so let's take ...
Mr Potential Kabarebe
Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda
Drumming is Like Thunder
Runcorn State High School
This is how Active Support Works - Expand Someone's World
Family and Community Services
Do's & Don'ts of Dating
ARC Disability Services
St Ursulas College Toowoomba
We Are Here
Bass Coast Specialist School
60 Seconds with Tyler
Northern Support Services
NOVA Employment is a not-for-profit disability employment agency funded by the Australian Government. At NOVA Employment we find people with disability award wage work of their choice.
Level 1, 50 Chapel St
St Marys NSW 2760