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 trip to Los Angeles, where he says he got to, 'Meet amazing people and do amazing things. I went to the Los Angeles Film Market, talked to producers and directors. We got to bond and share ideas and our experiences and dreams with each other, which was so rewarding.'

Mr Joe is a richly filmed doco-style short film portraying a young filmmaker with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) going about the streets of Melbourne. The narration can be described as poetic. Conceptualising, shooting and submitting the film is significant, given Jared's experience of Asperger's is personal. Of course, this makes the film and its achievements all the more raw and real. The actor playing Mr Joe, Sam Hargreaves, also has lived experience of ASD.

So, what has winning this amazing experience done for Jared?

'After winning the competition I felt more determined than ever to become a great filmmaker ... Focus on Ability showed that no matter who or what you are you can do anything from all around the world. If you got a dream and a passion and a ruthless aggression and determination to do that you can do it,' Jared says.

The last line of 'Mr Joe' says it all: 'I'm Joe, the filmmaker. And nothing is going to change that - not even my Asperger's.'