Link October 2018 Volume 27 Issue 5 - Page 54

employment 2017 Focusonability winners with Martin Wren (centre of photograph). In focus from film makers in every state and territory as well as likeminded folk around the world. In fact, this year the festival attracted entries from Changing attitudes is a slow and difficult task, writes Martin Wren, Chief Executive Officer of NOVA Employment. I With thanks to very generous sponsors, the prize pool is now would say that you can’t change can enter and there only two rules; more than $175,000, making people’s attitudes until you reach firstly, the film must be less than five ‘Focusonability’ one of the world’s their hearts, and for the meaning minutes long and secondly, it must richest film competitions, with prizes of heart I’ll turn to Wikipedia; “truth, showcase the ability or achievements including a car, cash and perhaps conscience or moral courage”. of people with disability. most appealing to would-be film When it comes to changing Perhaps the most pleasing part makers, professional training in Los attitudes toward employment of of involvement with the festival has Angeles and, for foreign film makers, people with disability, I had thought been to see the insight and courage training with TAFTA in Sydney. that NOVA could do so, ‘one great of young film makers tackling some job at a time’. This still rings true, of the more challenging aspects of great films for yourself, Google but 10 years ago I decided to tackle living with disability. ‘Focusonability‘ and ‘I’m Marcus’, or things another way: How would it Issues of sexuality, gender If you would like to see some ‘Focusonability’ and ‘Family First’, be if I could engage with people identity, relationships, mental health, through the use of short film and suicide, depression and specific digital media? disability information are dealt with the Focusonability program is with sympathetically, providing real changing attitudes across Australia the achievements and ability insight into the challenges people and exporting Australian culture and of people with disability – and with disability face and the triumphs values on disability around the world. ‘Focusonability’ was born. they achieve. I designed a festival to celebrate The idea caught the imagination 54 26 countries! In the previous decade, entries and make sure you have tissues! Participation and involvement Winners were announced last month in Sydney – stay tuned for a of people with and without disability have grown from a dozen to 297 this full report in the next edition of Link. – there are no restrictions on who year, with the 2018 entries coming in www.focusonability.com.au employment linkonline.com.au