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 ...