Barossa showcases film festival

IN ATTENDANCE: Light MP Tony Piccolo with festival winner Amechai Bawden and Chairperson of the festival commitee Ms Lee Witzcak.
IN ATTENDANCE: Light MP Tony Piccolo with festival winner Amechai Bawden and Chairperson of the festival commitee Ms Lee Witzcak.

The Sit Down, Shut Up and Watch Film Festival held at the Angaston Town Hall in late October featured the creative work of more than 40 filmmakers from around the world, including many from South Australia, who have a learning disability.

Festival co-ordinator Sue Morley from Tutti Arts, which runs the festival, said the event was trying to encourage more people with learning disabilities to participate in all aspects of filmmaking.

Guest at the festival, Light MP Tony Piccolo said the festival is Australia’s premier film festival for films made by people with a learning disability.

“Everyone on the steering committee identify as having a learning disability, and put their passion for films and film-making to work in hosting the second festival in the Barossa,” he said.

“The festival seeks to promote cultural change, social inclusion and acceptance of high quality work by filmmakers with a learning disability.”

The festival steering committee headed by Ms Lee Witzcak says their vision is “to live in a world where learning disabled people achieve their creative dreams and screen their work in Times Square, on iPhones and on every screen in-between.”

Mount Gambier’s Amechai Bawden won the best film in the documentary category and also won the overall best of the festival award at the Red Carpet Award Presentation recently.

A successful athlete in his own right, Mr Bawden’s documentary ‘I am Runner’ follows his sporting career and is designed to encourage and motivate others to work hard and achieve their goals.

He’s also a successful Special Olympian who has national titles in the 1500 and 800 metre events became interested in making the short film after participating in a filmmaking workshop that was held in Mt Gambier as part of the Festival.

Mr Piccolo said it was great to see that people with a learning disability were provided with an opportunity to showcase their creative talents.