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The future's bright

  • Date: 21 December 2009
  • Area: South East
Oska Bright awards 2009

Oska Bright awards 2009. Credit: Photo: Oska Bright

Oska Bright is unique because it is the only film festival in the world managed and produced by and for learning disabled filmmakers. The 2009 festival, which took place last month, was bigger and more ambitious than ever before, with more than 40 films screened for over 2000 people.

Supported by Carousel, a south east regularly funded organisation, Oska Bright certainly has a lot to celebrate thanks to a growing string of accolades.

This year's Oska Bright film festival was the biggest and most ambitious festival to date, boasting  screenings, master classes, 1:1 mentoring support in developing film making skills, and films from as far afield as Canada, Belgium and Prague.

The Best Overall Film award went to Glaswegian Doreen Kay for her animated film Young at Heart which explores being young and in love. Doreen's inspiration was the song of the same name by her favourite band The Bluebells. Of Young at Heart, the judging committee's comments included: 'The music is great, I wanted to dance, the animation explained the song words well, the drawings were good, it was very charming, we just loved it!'

Stephanie Fuller, our Head of Development at Arts Council England, South East, presented Doreen with her award and had this to say about the festival overall: 'The variety and calibre of submissions was fantastic and it must have been really hard for the panel to make a choice.'   

Oska Bright's success was preceded by even more good news for Carousel - providing the icing on the cake for the organisation, following last year's successful National Lottery Best Arts Project award nomination.  

In February 2009, Carousel's Ambassador Matthew Hellett won the Best Documentary Under 10 minutes Award at Canada's international disability film festival Picture This for his latest film Sparkle. Then in the summer, Matthew became the first learning disabled film maker to win a national commission when he was awarded a screen dance commission by another south east RFO South East Dance.

Now, Carousel is fundraising for a double-decker bus to enable them to tour around the UK during 2012 in celebration of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, showing Oska Bright films to more than 60,000 people. To find out more, and for a full list of this year's Oska Bright winners, visit: