‘The Other Film Festival’ presents a unique program of films at UN HQ

03 July, 2013 by IF

Press Release

This July, the world’s leading disability film festival, Australia’s own THE OTHER FILM FESTIVAL, will present a specially-curated program of films at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the annual meeting of the member states of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Presented by Arts Access Victoria, The Other Film Festival screens compelling international cinema about the contemporary lived experience of disability.

The Other Film Festival Artistic Director, Rick Randall, will travel to New York to present the program which will comprise a selection of films from the most recent festival. His attendance at the UN has been supported by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.

Randall says: “I am very proud to be able to present this screening in the United Nations to an audience of the world’s most influential decision-makers and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. The films selected reflect the lives and broad range of issues affecting people with disabilities – but more importantly, the universality of life –the everyday experience, life’s challenges and, of course, the frequent comedy. The best thing about these films is that they are all intelligent, well-crafted, compelling pieces of storytelling.

"I was mindful of embracing the theme of this year’s conference in selecting the films: Ensuring adequate standard of living: empowerment and participation of persons with disabilities. This is exactly the vision of The Other Film Festival: to ensure that all people with a disability are offered equal opportunities to participate fully in the cultural life of the community. Participation is empowerment.

"People with a disability aspire to participate in screen culture as storytellers, actors, crew and as audience. However, the opportunities for them to realise these aspirations are diminished by the fact that they rarely see the experience of disability represented in a compelling and authentic manner in screen media. The persistence of access barriers also prevents many people with mobility or sensory impairments from enjoying the experience of going to the cinema or film festivals.

The program includes:

BEAUTIFUL (Australia, Dir: Genevieve Clay-Smith) sees two people with intellectual disabilities navigate the challenges that surround them when their relationship is on public display.

JUST BE FRANK (Australia, Dir: Elise Bialylew) walk with African-American blind jazz singer, Frank Senior, as he adjusts from using a cane to training his new guide dog, Kew, on the street of New York.

DEAF MUGGER (UK, Dir: William Mager), a comedy that sees a Deaf mugger taking his sign interpreter along so his victims understand they are being mugged

10:4 (UK, Dir: Guy Natanel) exploring one man’s blindness through the textures, colours and sounds that surround him.

AUSTISTIC DISSONANCE (Canada, Dir: Eric Bent) shares one young animator’s often confusing experiences of growing up with autism.

SUNNY BOY (UK, Jane Gull) Danny has a rare, photo-sensitive skin condition but he is willing to risk everything to be a regular teenager.

All films will be captioned and audio described. The introduction and post-screening discussion will be live captioned (CART) & International Sign Language interpreted.

Over the past decade, The Other Film Festival has acquired a well deserved international reputation for its leadership in the use of innovative technology and strategies to meet access requirements for audience members with a disability and for delivering a vibrant international program of screenings, discussions and forums focussing on the lived experience of disability, both through the delivery of the actual festival and through the festival’s touring component and screen industry partnerships.

The Other Film Festival is produced and presented by Arts Access Victoria, the state’s leading arts and disability organisation with 40 years’ experience managing community cultural development projects across metropolitan Melbourne, regional centres and remote areas of Victoria. The organisation actively pursues an agenda of inclusion and participation in the arts for people with a disability.

The Other Film Festival addresses the obstacles to participating in screen culture and media production and to the obligations arising from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Cultural Ministers Council's National Arts and Disability Strategy 2009 and Australia's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

There are no other festivals in Australia with an equivalent commitment to provide universal access for audience members with a disability.

The Other Film Festival is supported by the City of Melbourne and Screen Australia.