The Focus Story

For the 10th consecutive year NOVA Employment presents the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival. This festival asks film makers to 'Focus on the Ability' of people with a disability and tell a story on film for the world to view. The 10th festival is set to be the biggest yet, and our generous sponsors have donated over $140,000 worth of cash and prizes to encourage film makers and people with disability to tell their stories.

In 2009, CEO of NOVA Employment Martin Wren began the festival with a belief in the ability of people with disability, and the goal of bringing that belief to the world through the medium of film. Martin recognised the power of film to challenge people's fixed beliefs and perceptions about the lives and abilities of people with disability around the world.

NOVA, together with Paula Duncan, known for both her success in the Australian film and television industry and passion for supporting people with disability, have worked tirelessly to bring this festival to the world.

The Focus on Ability Film Festival is for people of all talent levels with many first time film makers taking out major prizes.

Previous years films have been both educational and inspirational and have been viewed in 168 countries across the world and voted on by over 700,000 people. Feedback from people who have viewed the films has shown that these entries have the power to change attitudes and challenge perceptions.

In 2017, 210 films were entered from 19 countries.

Every year, the festival culminates in our red carpet awards night. Entrants will have the chance to feel like Scorsese and see their films premiered on the big screen as well as the opportunity to have their film shown on national television after the Awards night.

2017, 10 films were screened across Australia's free to air television station SBS and 90 films aired on Foxtel through Aurora TV, and the festival held additional screenings in New York, Melbourne, Auckland, Zimbabwe and Malawi. We have additional exciting screening opportunities planned for this festival in 2018.

The audience capacity is well over 1,000,000 people and continuing to grow, providing unmatched exposure for up and coming film makers and for people with disability to bring their message to the world. Films are judged by a professional judging panel and subject to an online voting process, with separate prizes for each category.

Meet the Team

FOA Creator, Martin Wren
Martin WrenIn 2009, CEO of NOVA Employment Martin Wren began the festival with a belief in the ability of people with disability, and the goal of bringing that belief to the world through the medium of film. Martin recognised the power of film to challenge people's fixed beliefs and perceptions about the lives and abilities of people with disability around the world.

FOA Ambassador, Paula Duncan
Paula DuncanPaula Duncan, known for both her success in the Australian film and television industry and passion for supporting people with disability, have worked tirelessly to bring this festival to the world.

Creative Director, Ryan Goodwin
Ryan GoodwinRyan Goodwin studied as a journalist and has used his curiosity and ability to talk to people to encourage film makers from all walks of life to tell their story via the medium of film.