Five teams of aspiring film-makers from British universities have been recognised at a Film Festival run by Business Disability Forum in London yesterday (20 June) for the ways they showed the huge potential of young disabled people around the country.
The Film Festival was staged after a competition for students to make a film in three days on the topics of disability and ‘going places’ in the world of work.
Winning first place were Miguel Ramos and Bettina Toth, students at Manchester Film School, with their film ‘Diversity versus Adversity’ about Kenny Rei, a marketing professional with ADHD working on a high-profile event with a pop group called the ‘Spicy Ladies.’
Returning to the top three after winning the competition last year were Wolverhampton students William Horsefield and Samuel Ash with their film ‘Barrier’, a film that uses striking visual symbols to show the challenges to job-hunting for someone who is deaf. The duo scored first place in the previous competition in 2017 with their film ‘Big Day’ about a deaf graduate landing their first job.
Rounding out the top three was another filmmaker from Manchester Film School, Edgar Scukins, won the third-place prize with his documentary ‘Mike’, about a disabled entrepreneur.
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Two more films were highly commended, namely Luke Trower’s ‘Going Forward’ about going to university with autism, and John Ford’s ‘Stick With It’, an inventive visual exploration of living with depression.
The winning films can be viewed on Business Disability Forum’s YouTube page.
The Film Festival showcased the best entries from Business Disability Forum’s Film Challenge, which asked students to make a film in three days on the topics of disability and ‘going places’ in the world of work.
The winning films were judged by leaders from the world of TV, Film and disability, comprising:
- Oliver Kent, Head of Continuing Drama Series, BBC
- IoannaKaravela, Producer, 90 Seconds
- Noeleen Cowley, Partner, Banking Operations and Customers, KPMG
- Helen Cooke, Founder and CEO, MyPlus Student’s Club
- Paul Smyth, Head of Digital Accessibility, Barclays
In addition to paid work with production company 90seconds, the filmmakers also won a placement with the company 1stAveMachine, guidance on how to succeed in the filmmaking industry, and a range of prizes donated by Business Disability Forum’s Partners and Strategic Alliances.
The Film Festival was put together to show organisations and their leaders the importance of inclusivity and disability confidence for the new generation entering the world of work.
It aims to bring leading employers into contact with talented disabled students to give them a genuine insight into what the world of disability means today.
Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum said:
“It’s a real privilege for us to showcase the debut of some very talented filmmakers. It’s clear that young disabled people have a lot to say and a great willingness to build a truly inclusive society.
“Businesses should listen to what these filmmakers have to say and take note. They will be the artists, employees, customers and leaders of tomorrow and our organisations will want to be ready for the unique insights and changes they will bring.”