The international festival of films made by and featuring learning disabled people came to triumphant close on Friday 17 November at The Old Market in Hove.

Over three action-packed days, thousands of people watched more than 100 films of different genres and styles.  The keynote speech by Glasgow-based artist Matthew Kennedy introduced a new LGBTQ+ strand which set the tone for this boundary-breaking event. Thursday saw the auditorium full of school children eager to Discover Oska Bright and gain their first Arts Award.

Along the way audiences watched a radio performed live with Foley sound effects, took part in Q&A’s with film-makers and saw the dance-film installation Four Solos in the Wild. The Awards night ended with a surprise performance from The Daniel Wakeford Experience, which got everyone on their feet.

Once again Oska Bright Film Festival proved that diversity is necessary and vital, and that the talent exists if only people are willing to give it a platform.  To provoke, promote and elevate learning disability film around the world is the Oska Bright aim; this year’s festival took it a giant step further.

Debs Paterson, director and writer, known for Africa United and Humans said: “Some of the most creative work I’ve seen in ages. So inspiring.”

Nicholas Pinnock, actor known for his role in Captain America said: “What Carousel does is wonderful. Oska Bright celebrates learning disabled people’s work and encourages them to submit creative, visual films.”

Award Winners 2017

  • Best Story: The Mask, by Sharif Persaud (Project Artworks) presented by Script Editor Kate Leys
  • Best Documentary: Life on Two Spectrums by Elizabeth Valentina, presented by Catharine Des Forges, Independent Cinema Office
  • Best Choreography: Four Solos in the Wild (Arty Party) presented by Jon Linstrum (Arts Council England)
  • Best Performance: Elyse Marinelli in Checkout, presented by actor Nicholas Pinnock
  • Best International Film: Man Without Direction (Sweden) presented by Mark Tainton, Adult Swim
  • Best Animation: The Odd Funeral by Felix Swahn (Sweden) presented by Lily Van Den Broecke, British Film Institute
  • Young People’s Award: Monster Party by Babington, Sherborne and Oakwood Schools, presented by Mo Marsh, Mayor of Brighton and Hove
  • Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award: Matthew Kennedy, presented by film director Debs Paterson