Home 2018 Films TermsWinnersEntryAboutPrizesJudgesSponsorsTwitter: Focus On AbilityFacebook: Focus On AbilityYouTube: Focus On Ability
Focus on Ability

Focus on Ability Blog


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 performances from visually musicians Matt McLaren and Stacee Parkinson, to delight in the spectacle of one hundred dancers with disability lighting up the stage and, of course, to celebrate the winners and all the contributors in this year's festival.

It was, as we have come to expect over the last nine years, a great night - in equal parts funny, moving and inspirational. Judge Lisa Duff singled out 'the passion of the film makers and the diversity of the stories'. NOVA CEO Martin Wren spoke of the core reasons behind FOA. 'Everybody in our society deserves to participate fully,' he reminded us. 'Film does this well, because it touches our hearts.' But perhaps it was FOA patron Paula Duncan who put it most simply: 'I love this night,' she said.

Online voters gave the chocolates to Sri Lankan entrant Life of Silent, Wonthaggi's Bass Coast Specialist School doco We Are Here, and Sam Bateman's quirky one man band in Catsperger.

Best Actors went to Kenyan Bill Kasanda in Chances and a very modest Evan Rowe for The Dr's Appointment. 'I definitely didn't think I was the best Australian actor,' declared Evan. 'But I'll take that! That's fine. That's good.'

International winner, John Lawson identified the 'new normal' he was looking for in Whitney's Wedding, telling the audience: 'In the US about 1% of the characters in TV and film have a disability, and most of them are played by able bodied people...We made a film where 95% of the characters had a disability.'

Documentary awards went to Carlson School's eye-opening Yes We Can and Karenza Ebejer's story of the talented Tilly Jones. Kellyville High School's powerful depiction of Alzheimer's Disease King Jack and Jared Hargreaves' visually rich Mr. Joe took out the short film gongs. NOVA Choice winner Blaise Borrer took home a brand new Kia Cerato for his stunning declaration of identity in Life Without Limitations and expressed his gratitude 'for being able to share these stories that only people like us can tell.' And the Kia? 'I have my license! And now I have a car to go with it!'

And that's not it for 2017. FOA's third New York screening takes place on October 3-6, following a showing in Auckland on September 13 and then heading to Zimbabwe on October 21!




Previous Posts

Telling stories through animation
So many different mediums are represented in Focus On Ability 2018. Of all of them, animation, in all its forms, seems to be the most accessible. We have entries from an eight-year-old Aussie boy as well ...

Notes from the judges: David Cameron on participation
When asked to be involved in Focus On Ability (FOA) as a judge, David was ...

It gets bigger every year!
‘This year’s Focus On Ability (FOA) film selection feels even more international,’ says long-time judge David Cameron of the 2018 competition. ‘There’s a sense of expansion,’ David says, ‘discovering ...

Something for everyone
‘I don’t want to say, “There’s something for everyone” in this film festival, but I have to! Because there is,’ says Martin Wren, CEO of NOVA Employment and the person who came up with the idea of a ...

Voting has started
Public voting has started in the tenth annual Focus On Ability film competition and, if past years are anything to go by, the winner of Most Online Votes will do so by just a few votes. It gets pretty ...

Careful what you wish for!
The cleverness of the title Focus On Ability passed me by for some years, before filmmakers kindly shed some light. Not being a camera operator myself, I knew it sounded good. But the idea of focusing ...

Where are they now? Davo Hardy
Six-time Focus On Ability (FOA) entrant, Davo Hardy, has written, directed and produced his first feature film, . An experienced ...

Where are they now? Davo Hardy
Six-time Focus On Ability (FOA) entrant, Davo Hardy, has written, directed and produced his first feature film, . An experienced ...

Free to enter, free to attend
Not only is it free to enter, it’s free to attend. Anyone can enter a film from any corner of the world. Films can be made on any medium. The only catch? Films must highlight the ability of people with ...

Got a story to tell?
Got a story to tell? Does it have a focus on the ability of people with disability? Do you have an interest in shooting video? If you answer 'yes' to all of the above, you need to ...

Matthew D
Northern Support Services
Thoughts of the Past
John Jeus Yagon
Lady Word Smith
Touch Compass
Robot
Huntingtower School
Our Abilities Shine
Rouse Hill Public School
The Fate of the Unicup
Nepean School
Who's on First
Warrawong High
I've Got the Power
Barker College
Instant
Mohamad Mustapha
Hear we are, Hear us now
Taree West Public School
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.

Head Office
Level 1, 50 Chapel St
St Marys NSW 2760
Copyright 2013 Nova Employment & Training Inc.
192.168.64.20