Focus on Ability Blog
What it feels like – focus on autismThis year’s Focus On Ability received around 50 films dealing with what if feels like to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ASD community – directors, actors, writers and editors – are really making an impression with their stories.
One of the strongest entries was the inspiration for the title of this blog. International documentary entrant Steven Fraser’s What It Feels Like uses hand-drawn animated flipping cards to convey something of, indeed, what it feels like to live daily with ASD.
In just 3.5 minutes, Luca Fox’s Open short film, Act Natural, uses internal narration during a conversation to highlight the challenge of a person with ASD trying to engage in a conversation, gauging what to say and when to say it.
Many of the films centred around ASD use internal narration to help viewers understand what it feels like. In this way, school entry, Autism – One Day At A Time goes through a typical school day for Brianna.
Actor Peter Rosini plays the role of Peter in Sebastian Chan’s Bus Trip, which is just as much about bullying and courage as autism. It’s a great film where the ‘good guys win’!
Courage is one of the themes to come through strongly in this suite of films. Unfortunately, bullying is another. It’s a point well made in Blaxland High School’s Awesomism, a series of interviews in which students with ASD talk straight about trust, making friends, bullying, understanding and even what they think of the word autism.
Another school entry, White Noise, by Matraville Sports High School, demonstrates the intensity of sound, sight and feeling for the protagonist if he can’t use his noise-cancelling headphones during his day to day. It’s awful. He calls them his ‘lifeline’. Check it out.
Finally, Look For Me is effective because it is gentle and simple. In a similar way to White Noise, Miriam Fox (UK) uses sound, but also movement to help us understand the life of a schoolgirl on the autism spectrum.
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The solid theme across all of the entries throughout the ten years of Focus On Ability is: ‘Please notice my abilities’, which is why, in this blog, we’re focusing on vision, not vision impairment. At ...
Where are they now? Jared Hargreaves
In 2017 Jared Hargreaves won the Focus On Ability Open Short Film section with his film ‘Mr Joe’. Apart from feeling like a star at the gala awards night, Jared also won a 3-week all-expenses-paid ...
What it feels like – focus on autism
This year’s Focus On Ability received around 50 films dealing with what if feels like to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ASD community – directors, actors, writers and editors – are really ...
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 ...
Everyone is Different
St John The Baptist Primary School Maitland
I've seen so much
One Foot Ahead
ARC & T-Bay HS Dance Film Clip
ARC Disability Services
Elizabeth Macarthur High School
Flipped... My Body Stopped to Let Me Remember
A Day in the Life of Gordon
Maitland Grossman High School
The Taekwondo Master
Music Ignites our Talents
Mr Spielberg Needs our Help
Maitland High 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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St Marys NSW 2760