1 January 2005
A festival of short films by people with learning disabilities
The festival is run by a committee of people with learning disabilities. They make all decisions about how to make the festival as accessible as possible. They have regular meetings to decide on publicity, co-ordination and film selection.
Oska Bright came about after the success of a collaborative film project 'Disneyland Disaster' People with learning disabilities, funders and carers at the Blue Camel Club and in meetings, presentations and conferences, all felt the films should be made available to many more people.
Junk TV and Carousel set about creating a festival as they believed that there were other people with learning disabilities making films too.
A film festival of national significance seemed to be the best way of this process happening. Sarah Pickthall, Disability Arts Officer for Arts Council, South East said:
Arts Council England South East has been instrumental in supporting the development of the learning disabled steering committee to self advocate and decide every element of the festival activity with facilitation support from Carousel and Junk TV.
This model is of enormous significance to the region. As an organisation, Arts Council is keen to underpin projects that address cultural diversity and transform people's lives putting people with disabilities demonstrably and appropriately in control of their own arts development.
The committee who are truly representative, culturally diverse and learning disabled as well as accomplished artists, film makers, administrators and performers will illustrate how powerful and relevant this way of working can be.
The committee are in the process of evaluating the findings. This will reveal what people want Oska Bright to be. Junk TV and Carousel are currently looking at organising a biennial event.
Event organiser, Carousel's Mark Richardson said:
We want as many film makers with learning disabilities to come to the festival as possible. We want to ensure that the films are open to a wide audience so that people can see the creative talents and achievements of people with learning disabilities.
If you want to find out more about the festival you can contact Carousel at:Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG
Phone: 01273 234 734
Fax/Textphone: 01273 234 735
Oska Bright Awards
The Oska statuettes, awarded to the best films and film-makers, were designed and made by Andy Kee. Andy Kee is a member of the steering committee who manage the film festival.
The films were between 1 minute and 10 minutes long and prizes were awarded for the best film in each category. The awards were made of steel and mounted on wood. Andy Kee was awarded a grant from the Arts Council to work with Brighton based metal worker Jon Mills to design and make the Oskas. In all, 5 Oskas were made, all slightly different:
The Award Winners
- Best Film Under Ten Minutes Title: Silent Movie
- Best Film Under Five Minutes Title: 'It's summer holidays again'
- Best Film Under One Minute Title: 'Tree whizz and apple attack'
- Best Acting Title: 'The Brighton Mob'
- Best Camera Work Title: 'Down the plug hole'
- Special Award (will receive a film training bursary from Junk TV)
- Special Award (will receive a film training bursary from Junk TV)
Film-makers: Skills for People Drama Group Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Film-makers: Young Creations Silverstone, Northants
Film-makers: Matthew Eggert Theydon Bois, Essex
Film-makers: Care Co-ops & Junk TV Brighton
Film-makers: Massive Message Productions Birmingham
Title:Film-makers: Matthew Eggert Theydon Bois, Essex
Film-makers: Kevin Smith Aston Tirrold, Oxon
The Oska Bright Steering Committee
The Steering Committee are Andrew Kee Anna Lumana Richard West June Hall Stephen Firshman
The committee has six members with a learning disability. They are all from the South East and each have a specialism in either film, the arts or advocacy. The aim for this project is to develop from the pilot year and become a model of good practice for user involvement in arts organisations for people with learning disabilities.
about the committee
Why is Oska Bright Film Festival Important to the Committee?
- It gives opportunities for people with learning disabilities to show films they have made.
- It gives people with learning disabilities an opportunity to show their films in a cinematic setting.
- It gives people with learning disabilities a chance to show what is important in their lives - their hopes and fears.
- It gives people with learning disabilities a chance to show what they can do.
Andy is a visual artist and wants to find out about how to use more film in his work. He feels that the festival will give people with learning disabilities a chance to show what is important in their lives - their hopes and fears. Andy is also an art advisor to Mencap and helping to organise an exhibition and conference at the Tate Modern in 2005. He has 2 NVQ's, one in Youth Arts, the other in Visual Arts. He runs an inclusive arts workshops for under 7 year olds and is a board member for London Youth arts Network. He is also the vice-chair of Oily Cart Theatre Company, London and is on the steering group for Arts Life, an Arts Council Funded website enabling artists with learning disabilities to continue developing their work.
Richard is a community artist and likes films. He is also a drummer and a DJ at the Beautiful Octopus Club, Blue Camel Club, Blue Oasis Club and Paddington Arts Club for young people. He is a member of Notting Hill Carnival Arts and Heart n Soul. He is a mentor for young people, as part of the ACE mentoring scheme and an art advisor to Mencap. He is also helping to organise an exhibition and conference at the Tate Modern in 2005.
Anna is a keen photographer, winning awards from Mencap Photography Competitions. She helped make 'Disneyland Disaster', an animated film, with support from Carousel and Junk TV
June has been making animated films with Carousel and Junk TV for the last 18 months. She has worked with film-makers from Dieppe, and is very good at using cameras and computers. June's most recent film was 'Donkey and the spell'.
Stephen has been making animated films with Carousel and Junk TV for the last 18 months. The two films he has made are Disneyland Disaster and The Donkey and The Spell. He enjoys editing on computers and using cameras. He hopes the festival will give people with learning disabilities a chance to show what they can do.
Anna Lumana, June Hall, Stephen Fisherman and Richard West all have profiles on Facebook (FB) and can be found by inputting their names into the FB system.
Making a Film
An account by June Hall - Steering Group member:
Q: When you made your first film, what did if feel like?
A: I wasn't sure what was happening at first but felt excited afterwards. I have done lots of films before and I am good at finding ideas and have a good imagination. I came up with the idea of the old lady for the film, 'Disneyland Disaster'. I don't want to stop making films now that I've started because I have lots of ideas.
Q: You made stories together with lots of people didn't you? Was this good?
A: I prefer making films with other people.
Q: What was it like to use the camera? What did you do with the computer?
A: I was frightened I was going to drop the camera to start with but it was exciting as I have only used a normal camera before. I felt happy using the computer because I use them in the day at the centre I attend. Simon and Mark, the organisers, helped us and the computer made the film good.
Q: Did the making the film take a long time?
A: It took a long time to make the film.
Q: Were there a lot of you who made the film together?
A: There were a lot of us, but we got split into groups which helped us. We took it in turns to work on scenes and to make the film. I liked doing a bit of both.
Q: How does it feel for people to see your film?
A: I am glad and pleased but I haven't seen it in a cinema yet so I am very excited to see that.
Q: Would you like to make another film?
A: I would love to make more films. My boyfriend told me to keep making films because I have talent.