What happens at Oska Bright? Where does the name come from?
Oska Bright Film Festival is the leading international festival of films made by, or featuring people with learning disabilities. It is produced, managed and presented by a learning disabled team.
The name came from Oska – as in the Hollywood Oscars and Bright – for Brighton, where the festival is based.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am working on my Gold Arts Award and also November's Oska Bright Film Festival which takes place at The Old Market in Hove - a new venue for us. Last year I was selected to be part of Guiding Lights – a national film industry mentoring scheme. So I'm busy with that too.
What do you offer to young people?
This year we are starting a new scheme, Young Oska Bright, where young people can join the festival team and learn about how we select films and put the event together.
We are also hoping to run a big schools project called Silver Screen, where we look at old silent movies and support young people to make new films inspired by the archive footage.
What activities are most popular for young people?
Lots of people enjoy our film making workshops – we have teamed up with Into Film to help produce a guide for young film makers who want to make their own films.
How do you incorporate actual filmmaking activities into the Festival?
We run workshops with school groups and organisations across the country. At Young People's Day at Oska Bright, all of the activities will be set up for young people and if you take part you could get an Arts Award Discover certificate!
- Oska Bright 2015 – award winners, photo by Paul Mansfield
Tell us about a recent project you have run and the impact it had.
A year ago I read an article that claimed Downs Syndrome could be cured. It made me think about my condition, which is [otherwise considered] incurable, and about the future and what could happen. This led to the project Curing Perfect, an online game and app. I would like Curing Perfect to change people's perception of looking at people with learning disabilities. You can play it here www.curingperfect.com
When and how did the festival first start out? What are you looking for the future?
The first festival was in 2004, as a small local event. It has grown into an international festival with films coming in from all over the world and takes place every two years. It mainly shows short films but longer length films can be entered too. In 2015 we showed two feature films plus shorts; animation, drama, documentary and digital art films. That festival won Best Event in the City at the Brighton and Hove Business Awards. Now we are looking to the future, we want to build our international partnerships and we are exploring more digital art like Virtual Reality.
What do you do to get young people to do an Arts Award?
Sometimes we run special projects that have Arts Award built in, and we recruit young people from local schools and colleges. We did this with a DJ-ing course last year.
Do you publish any online resources that young people doing Arts Award could use?
We are making an accessible guide for doing Arts Award Discover in a day. It will come out during the Oska Bright Film Festival in November.
What advice do you have to give to people who wish to engage with young people from all backgrounds using film archiving/curation
Just give it a go! And try and do your best and don't give up! Give yourself plenty of time to find the right people to work with. There are film festivals that cover all types of film and all styles; get in touch with one that is relevant for your project. They will be really pleased to hear from you and could be willing to support you in some way.
Oska Bright 2017 is open now for film submissions and it is easy and free to do. Here's a link to the Oska Bright page on the Carousel website http://www.carousel.org.uk/oska-bright-film-festival/
The deadline is 30 April 2017. If you have any questions give us a call on 01273 234 734 or email [email protected]
The festival takes place at The Old Market in Hove, on 15, 16 and 17 November 2017. Save the date!
Oska Bright is a division of Carousel, a learning disability-led arts company and charity. You can find out about our work at www.carousel.org.uk
- Image of Becky Bruzas courtesy of Lighthouse