The OSKA Bright Film Festival, the learning disability film festival, hosted a dedicated screening of films and scripts that were entered as part of a collaborative project between Carousel and the University of Brighton.
Will Hanekom, a final year student on the University’s successful BA(Hons) Design for Digital Media course saw his short film ‘What’s the Time?’ screened alongside four other short-listed films as part of the Festival, held at the Old Market in Hove, Brighton.
Will’s film explores the boundaries between surreal and discomforting narratives in children’s animations and the subject of the uncanny children’s TV. It was inspired by a show that traumatised him as a toddler. He says: “I wanted to communicate the uncanny nature of pre-school children’s programming and the potential effects it has; that eerie sense of disquiet at the time I first experienced it. I had a sense through my imagination that made me believe that these characters on a screen were aware of my existence, and that they had the intention of coming after me. I wanted to make the audience feel the same way I did at that time. That is why I specifically chose a recorded VHS footage angle for the whole thing. I wanted to make it feel as if the recording itself was possessed by something you weren’t allowed to see or to know about. That feeling of a bigger force at play is something a lot of good horror stories do, only hinting that something is wrong in this world of bright colours and jubilation”.
Senior Lecturer Vanessa Marr says of Will that: “we are always impressed by Will’s imagination and ability to look at creative briefs from an exciting and alternative perspective. We are delighted that his work will be screened at this public event”.
The film screening session was dedicated to showcasing how learning disabled and non-learning disabled people can co-create films. The filmmakers also shared their experiences of working in partnership before each film with a Q&A panel afterwards.
In 2018 the University sponsored a student film making collaboration initiative, supporting student entries to this Festival. The project subsequently developed into running a series of story development workshops, with renowned script editor Kate Leys and Tom Wightman, BFI Screen Hub South East Talent Executive. It brought together students and LD film makers, and was a pilot for co-creative working.