Recognising filmmaking abilities

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The kurta-clad, heavily kohled festival brigade turned up as usual.

But mostly, the crowd at the last day of AbilityFest 2005, India International Disability Film Festival, were enthusiastic youngsters.

They were eager to cheer their friends at the award distribution ceremony of `60 Seconds to Fame' competition, where the theme was inclusion.

Simple message

The first prize for the animation film `Becky', directed by Madhi and Thiagarajan Kumararaja, was chosen for its simple, straightforward message.

It features Becky, a little girl who loves life but hates that people feel sorry that she is wheelchair-bound.

It introduces us to other characters that also have disabilities — bad singers, bad at romance etc. But no one pities them. The filmmakers won Rs. 1 lakh.

Second prize

Nakul Sahwney won the second prize of Rs. 75,000 for `With a little help from my friends'. The judges liked this one for its theme of inclusion among the youth. Sreebala K Menon came third with her untitled film for "its stark minimal narration of camaraderie and understanding." She received Rs. 50,000.

Siddharth S Kumar's `Can You?' and `Vision' by Varun Narvekar each got a special mention for "inventiveness and vitality".

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