An Oscar winning director and leading figures from the British film industry have presented awards to six learning disabled film makers as part of the Oska Bright Film Festival.
The talented creators beat hundreds of entries to receive the awards, which were presented at Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange on 11 November 2015 by Andrea Arnold, the director of films Red Road, Fish Tank and Wuthering Heights, Warner Brother's UK TV head Nick Emmerson and the BFI's Ben Luxford, amongst others.
The ceremony took place on the final day of the Oska Bright Film Festival, a three day, bi-annual festival that showcases films made by and featuring people with learning disabilities. When it began in 2004, the festival was the first learning disabled film festival of its kind anywhere in the world and has since inspired similar events in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Australia.
Compere for the ceremony, Becky Bruzas, said: “We’re here to celebrate the talents of learning disabled film makers from all over the world - and there are lots of them! We’ve been really impressed with the work we’ve seen this year."
Colin Hambrook, of Disability Arts Online, who has followed Oska Bright since it started in 2004, said: “With each festival the evidence of growing confidence and the strength of the disabled voices coming through, grows more compelling. There is a strong sense that the direction that Oska Bright has taken and the influence it is building worldwide is the beginning of a rollercoaster movement that will refuse to be stopped no-matter the impact of cuts and austerity measures. Oska Bright has come into its own and the community it has brought together with it is unstoppable in their bid to get their films shown at mainstream festivals, galleries, presentations and on television.”
The next Oska Bright festival is in 2017. Learning disabled film-makers wanting to enter a film should contact Carousel, the charity behind the festival, or go to carousel.org.uk for more information.
The winners of the 2015 Oska Bright Film Festival awards are:
Best Animation: Whinstor Norville by Eric Bent (Canada). Award presented by Mark Taynton from Adult Swim.
Best Newcomer: A Skeleton's Best Friend by Lissea Jordan (UK). Award presented by Jane Mote, Media Consultant.
Best Story: Bastion by Ray Jacobs (UK). Award presented by Ben Luxford and Deborah Williams from The BFI.
Most Original Film: Kairo by Barner 16 (Germany). Award presented by Andrea Arnold OBE, film-director.
Best Production: Soldiering On by Jez Colbourne (UK). Award presented by Gavin Humphries from Creative Skillset and Nick Emmerson from Warner Bros UK.
Funniest Film: The Nasty Neighbour by Outreach 3-Way (UK). Award presented by Ben Lane, Arts Council England.