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 as international entries from all over the world.

If you enjoy animation, here's a taster of this year's collection.

Silent Sigh by Thiranjaya Dilhan (Sri Lanka) is about a busker adding colour to his street. The tone is beautiful in terms of colour, sound and content. It's intent is subtle. The ending is profound.

Look For Me is effective because it is gentle and simple. The sound and movement are evocative. Miriam Fox (UK) contrasts the twittering of birds with the boisterousness of kids storming the corridor beneath the shrill sound of the school bell. There's an interesting shimmering effect to the images. Her pops of colour and blasts of sound help us understand the life of a schoolgirl on the autism spectrum.

The bright and flat pallet of The Rooster That Stopped Crowing uses a young rooster to discuss how we find our place in the world. Hannah Bridgman's (USA) film is beautifully narrated by Skywalker Payne. Similarly, Natalie Priest's (UK) Zack and The Rainbow: Making Friends steps us through the challenges of a super active new boy in school learning to slow down to fit in.

Cotton Clouds is a silent film modelling respect and understanding. Oh, how the world can do with more of that! Thank to you, Shellie Schenck.

Many local entrants also submitted animated films. In the Open section, Leonie Muir gets her message across in not-much-more-than minute, using Lego and great voiceovers: No Help Needed. Quack, from Susannah Wong uses the form with poetry to brilliantly describe what it's like to live with Tourette's. Also using Lego, The Talent Show was written, edited, acted, produced and the music performed by 8-year-old Knox Rush.

If you're a sucker for animation, there really is something for everyone here. And we haven't even started on the Schools Short and Documentary sections. (Stay tuned!) Watch and share, people! Watch and share...