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Focus on Ability Blog

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 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?

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 ...

Keep Calm and Act your Ability
Chatswood High School
Life of Brian
Warrawong High
Active Support - Connecting in the Community
Family and Community Services
I've Got the Magic in Me!
Barker College
Bayfield Movie Makers, The Interview
Bayfield High School
Don't dis-my ability
Barker College
Mr Potential Kabarebe
Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda
Access All Areas
Rohan Langford
The Ghost in My Class
Cecil Hills High School
Huntingtower 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.

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