Rydges Sydney Central played host to the 2015 launch of the ‘Focus on Ability’ Short Film Festival, with a start-studded audience of film, political, employment and hotel figures all aiming to put the “focus on the ability of people with a disability”.
The competition is in its 7th year, and is organised by NOVA employment to raise awareness of the abilities of people with a disability. In 2014, 180 films were entered and the winners shared in over $90,000 in prizes. This year, the prize pool increases to $110,000.
Film-makers need to get their 5 minute entries into the competition by 10 July 2015, with the competition culminating in an awards night at Luna Park in September. Films will be judged by a professional panel as well as being put through an online voting process, with separate prizes for each category.
Rydges is a major sponsor of the Festival, with Rydges Sydney Central providing the venue for the launch.
Nova Employment’s CEO, Martin Wren, said: “Hotels have been employing staff with various degrees of disability for decades, and many have gone on to become high-performing and inspirational employees, who’ve overcome barriers to make a difference,” he said.
“We are really appreciative of Rydge’s support for this initiative and given that the hospitality industry is renowned for its flair, we think there will be many budding film makers in hotels who might want to submit a film that celebrates the outstanding contribution of a disabled colleague. The prizes are great and the lasting legacy of the message is even greater.”