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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 the hidden, the not yet acclaimed, the unnoticed …’

Indeed, this year’s FOA is more international. Not only did we receive a record number of international entries, a record number of people voted for their favourites! Viewers from 164 countries watched the films and we experienced a 45% increase in film views overall.

While the winners will not be revealed until the awards ceremony on 5 September, we can say that the international results were neck-a-neck on the final day of voting, so much so that first and second place getters changed four times that day! Similarly on the final day, in the schools section, first and second places shifted. However, one open entrant took the lead with a few days to go and powered home to win.

For David it’s pleasing and reaffirming that something like this can find legs and grow. ‘In the world of film and television, every series can be the last so each time another series of ‘Stingers’ got through, the entire team celebrated!”’ It’s worth acknowledging each year of growth.

Since the inaugural festival in 2009, each year there have been more films for David and his fellow judges to watch, an increase that is rewarding the considerable effort required to bring this festival together, from the film makers themselves, but also organisers, including NOVA Employment CEO Martin Wren and NOVA Employment Ambassador Paula Duncan.

It gets bigger every year. It also gets better every year. But it stays true to its intention – to be an accessible festival that highlights the abilities of people with disability. The competition remains free to enter and the awards night is open to all to attend. ‘It’s growing and changing every year,’ David says. ‘It has to adapt and it does.’



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 ...

Steady Cam
Whakatane Intermediate School
Yes We Can
Model Farms High School - Support Unit
The Ghost in My Class
Cecil Hills High School
Invisible Disability
Brooke Pree
A 'Tic' for Ability
Geneva Christian College
Malibu Cafe
Malibu School & Safety Bay Senior High School
Lady Word Smith
Touch Compass
Earth
Salman Bheriyani
The Cecil Hills Sports Show
Cecil Hills High School
The Basket of Mangoes
Chapman Mulangira
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.

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