The Oska Bright Film Festival will host a wide range of screenings and talks including music videos, comedy shorts, animations, drama and documentary films. Running from 9-11 November at the Brighton Corn Exchange the festival is run by a team of learning-disabled film-makers keen to promote the work of learning disabled people, behind and in front of the camera.
When did you last see a learning disabled actor in a mainstream movie? Whilst on stage and on television some learning disabled actors are now getting parts, only 0.1% of people in the film industry have an impairment of any sort.
This is one of the issues that the 2015 Oska Bright Film Festival explores. The festival is programmed, managed and presented by a learning disabled team and showcases the very best international films made by and starring people with learning disabilities, alongside debates designed to challenge the status quo.
In the festival’s keynote address, Sarah Gordy (Pamela in BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs and Sally in Call The Midwife) will describe her experiences in the film industry.
Sarah says: “I’ve made some short films, including an Oska Bright award winner, and I now have an agent in L.A. It would be nice to think that one day the phone will ring long distance. Festivals like Oska Bright, with all the development work they do, are really helping learning disabled people to make their mark in film.”
The Oska Bright Film Festival, which takes place every other year in Brighton, celebrates its seventh edition with a range of new activities including a live link-up with Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, who will be watching the festival in real-time, and its first ever screening of a feature length film. The Australian-made film, Sons and Mothers, is an intimate portrait of the Men’s Ensemble Theatre Troupe as they create a theatrical love letter to their mothers.
The three-day festival will host a wide range of screenings including music videos, comedy shorts, animations and films from Canada’s Picture This…Film Festival. A series talks will also take place as will an evening screening of horror films.
Festival-goers can get hands-on in the Spotlight area by exploring a virtual-reality world through Oculus Rift, learn about YouTube publishing or have a go at VJing.
The festival culminates in an awards ceremony (11 November) featuring surprise presenters and music from electro new-wave sextet and previous entrants Kundedkoenig from Hamburg.