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Focus on Ability Blog


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 already worked for me at the ‘let’s get serious’ level.

The idea: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we used the medium of film to change how people understand the experience of people with disability? By golly, it could change the world!’

The concept: A small film festival that asks school students to shoot a film of five minutes or less with the theme focus on the ability of people with disability.

The reality: A huge international short-film competition with over $175,000 in cash and prizes to share among the six categories, including international doco and shorts, Australia-New Zealand open doco and shorts, and Australia-New Zealand schools doco and shorts.

The Focus On Ability Film Festival is now ten years old. We’re going to celebrate on 5 September at The Concourse in Chatswood, Sydney.

But, first, we’re celebrating the effort and skill of 2018’s FOA filmmakers. ‘Mum’s the word’ on my favourites so far, but I can guarantee that I’ll weep at least five times this week when I binge-watch around 280 short films.

I like the quirky, I like the funny, I like the films that make me think. Some make me stop in my tracks with images or concepts or lines, like: ‘I didn’t know that anyone would ever love me’ or ‘It feels like I’m being destroyed.’

At these times I have to go back, replay and listen again. Yes, they actually said that in my film fest.

I’m right proud of this tenth anniversary. Thank you to participants, organisers, sponsors and NOVA staff for making it a very fine festival. Careful what you wish for, lest it turn out as well as Focus On Ability …




Previous Posts

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 ...

Zimbabwe exuberant about FOA
Over 1000 people filled the National Rehabilitation Centre in Ruwa, Zimbabwe on a sunny Saturday in October with guests from all over southern Africa. Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that ...

A Truly International Film Festival
Where to start? This year’s Focus On Ability Film Festival broke all records. But it’s not the records that matter so much as the increased awareness of the abilities of the actors, players, directors ...

Praise 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 ...

The Abilities of a Disabled Person 4
Bacchus Marsh Grammar
Life of Brian
Warrawong High
I've Got the Power
Barker College
I Am Not Disabled
Zabibu Almasy
Access All Areas
Rohan Langford
Trauma
Barker College
World of Labels
Rudolf Dantago Schimming
To the best of our ability
Wodonga Tafe
Hanging Tough
Joseph Muthee
Wheel
Mount Waverley Secondary College
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