Thank you for seeing me - focus on vision

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 a deeper level, noticing abilities is about seeing the person for who they are - their essence, their true selves, the human being before you.

This collection highlights this theme.

If you watch one short film today, make it 'Music Keeps Me Strong' by Laughlin O'Connor. It'll make you feel good, in part because music makes Connor, the subject, feel good. He says that through music, 'I get to express a range of emotions and feelings.' Shockingly, this is not something that people with disability are always permitted. 'I feel like myself the most when I'm singing,' he says. It's a relief to have people focus on his singing, not his blindness.

Unsurprisingly, another 2018 entry called 'I Am Tom' also features a skilled young singer who plays stringed instruments and doesn't define himself by his disability. 'Blindness is a characteristic,' Tom says. It's a gentle film from Joyce Northey in Victoria.

From the arts to sport now, which also provides a different platform for people to express themselves and find flow. In 'Blind Faith', Dean Saffron's short, sharp narrated documentary of competitive cyclist Jess Gallagher does its work in under 80 seconds.

Our first entry from Russia came in this year! Vitaly Popov's smooth, quiet 'Colors' is the sweetest portrayal of the benefits of getting up to experience the sun rise. Make sure you watch all the way to the end ...

Finally, an entry in the Open short-film section by Jarrod Fantom turns the doctor-patient relationship around and is the inspiration for the title of this blog. 'Unseen' is a slow conversation designed to get you thinking.

Thinking, noticing, seeing. The Focus on Ability Film Competition encourages us to do just that.