8 May 2007
Oska Bright Film Festival
DAO asked Oska Bright about the world's first national festival of short films made by and for people with learning disabilities
Following two successful festivals in Brighton in 2004 and 2005, and a national tour to over a dozen cities, Oska Bright reached over 10,000 people by the end of 2006 and showcased almost 100 films. Oska Bright will return to Brighton, even bigger and better than before, in October 2007.
Oska Bright is the only film festival in the world run by and for people with learning disabilities. The Festivals have attracted amazing feedback and support from people across the UK. The power of film has allowed people with learning disabilities to express their unique talents, allowing each one of their voices to be heard through creative drama, dance, music, animation and incredible sense of humour, touching their audience at all times. A truly remarkable achievement!
In addition to the screenings, the Festival also included an awards ceremony, with individual statuettes hand-made by committee member Andy Kee, and the awarding of two Oska Bright Film Training Bursaries, for two days training with Junk TV in filmmaking techniques. “We want to show that learning disabled people can do quality work”, says committee member Andy Kee.
In 2006-07 Oska Bright went On The Road, touring films from the 2005 festivals to over a dozen locations across the UK and Ireland, including London, Birmingham, Powys, Cardiff, Belfast, Exeter, Warrington and Wellingborough.
How it works
The most unique aspect of the Festival is that it is organised by a team of six learning disabled artists. With support from the learning disability arts organisation Carousel and community film makers Junk TV, they have regular meetings to decide on publicity, film selection and how to make the festival accessible - as well as event management.
“There are no other film festivals like this in the world”, says Richard West, Oska Bright committee member. “It is important that we are recognised as running the festival ourselves and that Oska Bright is judged as an arts event, rather than a disability event. There is a long way to go, but we want to be recognised by big film companies and other film-makers as artists in our own right and encourage them to take on our ideas and work with people with learning disabilities”.
The Autumn 2007 Oska Bright Film Festival will include training and new opportunities. The Festival will run from Monday 15 - Tuesday 16 October. It will also include various Master Class filmmaking workshops and an award ceremony. This will offer extended opportunities for learning disabled film makers to develop and extend their filmmaking skills through bursaries, networking and training. The awards ceremony will help to establish a benchmark of quality that encourages learning disabled film makers to expand their horizons and experiment with different film making techniques.
See www.carousel.org.uk for further information on both Oska Bright and Carousel's other activities.
Oska Bright Autumn 2007
DAO asked Andy Kee and Richard West - members of the Oska Bright committee about the autumn 2007 festival happening in Brighton
What's new this year?
AK: Oska Bright is going to happen over 2 days, because in past years we've sold out. Monday will have screenings and a Master class. This workshop will be planned and led by the Oska Bright Steering Committee. Tuesday will have the same screenings again and in the evening the Oska Bright Award Ceremony.
The Awards will be for: best animation, best camera work / special FX, best actor, best overall film, best costume and makeup. The Awards will be designed and made by myself. They will all be slightly different this year. As well as metal they will also light up.
RW: The dates of the festival are 15 and 16 October 2007.
Films being entered - are there more / where from?
AK: Films being entered are normally slow at the beginning then a mad rush near the closing date for entries. It looks like its going to be the same this year. Entries are coming from all over the UK, but especially where we've toured Oska Bright On The Road.
RW: The deadline to enter movies is 31 May 2007 but if they arrived on 1st, 2nd or 3rd June we will still accept them - no later!
What sort of training is offered?
RW: There is training in how to use the camera safely when filming, and how to make animations, and to show film-makers how to work with people with learning disabilities in the film arts world.
AK: Our Master Class makes film making easier by showing people how to go about:
- Making a story for the film
- Thinking about the people in the film
- Thinking about music and sounds for the film
- Thinking about the different kinds of film you can make
- Looking at different kinds of films
We have a new website that gives information about Oska Bright and shows some of the fantastic films at www.oskabright.co.uk