Screenability filmmakers destined for the big screen in 2021

Published: 3 Dec 2020

Released by: Minister of State

Emerging filmmakers with disability Samuel Martin, Danni Wright, Jacob Melamed, Digby Webster, Lauren Orrell and their teams have been selected to turn their filmmaking dreams into reality as recipients of the 2021 Screen NSW Screenability Filmmakers Fund.

The short films, which will be considered to premiere as part of the 68th Sydney Film Festival in 2021, include an animation from Archibald Prize-nominee Digby Webster, a documentary on deaf professional aerial performer Katia Schwartz, and a short drama that highlights the difficulties of being a teenager with disability in high school. 

Blockhead & Sparkles & The Flood of Tears, Deafying Gravity, and I’m No Hero will be filmed and post-produced entirely in NSW through the assistance of a $30,000 grant from the NSW Government’s screen agency, Screen NSW, with Executive Producer support from Liam Heyen and mentorship from Patrick Egerton, Janine Hosking and Kriv Stenders. 

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said Screenability is an important initiative that provides a platform for filmmakers with disability to tell their stories to a wide audience.

“This year’s recipients will bring their unique voice and insight to our screens. 

“With previous Screenability films broadcast on television and at Sydney Film Festival, we know audiences want authenticity, and it is critical that people with disability have the opportunity to share their stories and to be in charge of their narrative. This year’s recipients will have the opportunity to expand their careers and develop their filmmaking skills,” Mr Harwin said. 

Now in its fifth year, the fund is part of a suite of initiatives under Screenability NSW, an open-ended policy commitment by the NSW Government through Screen NSW to work with industry to grow participation in the screen sector by NSW-based filmmakers with disability. 

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