NMIT Work Education student film project wins international award

Press release from NMIT

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Work Education student film project, Cafe Chat, has won the 2011 Oska Bright Festival award for Most Original Film.

Now in its fifth year, the Oska Bright Festival is a three-day event exhibiting films made by people with a learning disability from around the world. This year’s festival was held in Brighton (UK) and attended by representatives from around the globe
including Australia, Canada, Israel and the UK to name a few.

Café Chat is a short claymation film made by students from NMIT’s Work Education Centre along with the NMIT Performing Arts and Information Technology departments. Two Work Education classes created the eight-minute film, made up of their own voice recordings, talking about their life experiences. The film focuses on young people meeting in a café. It touches on social relations and the difference between real, face-to-face conversations, as opposed to Internet “friendships” and makes the point that sometimes we need to be a little brave to make new friends.

NMIT Work Education staff member, Kirsten Woodhouse, represented NMIT at the Festival awards presentation on 25 November and was thrilled to pick up the award for Most Original Film. “For Café Chat to be awarded Most Original Film was tremendous,” said Ms Woodhouse.

“This recognition sends a great message for all the students and staff who created this work. We received great feedback at the Festival and people commented on the ‘real experiences’ of the students. We’ve even had an invitation to enter Cafe Chat into the Canadian Wide Angle Media Festival.

“What became very clear from the Oska Bright festival entries were the common themes of community, identity and self determination. Having an international audience relate and respond to Cafe Chat, means we share the same values, desires and needs, and it just makes us feel a lot closer together.

“The Festival shows how important it is to have our students’ stories out there for all to view and hear. Now we have to start making more films and get back to Oska Bright, Brighton for 2013!"