Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Icon in the reduction of Barriers My friend David Morris

The Together! 2012 free festival of Disability Arts, Culture and Human Rights continues this week with a two-day low budget film-makers' workshop and a three-day Film Festival at the University of East London. The film festival is supported by Channel 4, and is programmed in association with ADFDaDaFestKynnysKino and the Picture This Film Festival. For full details see

The Film Festival opens at 5pm on Friday evening (7 December) with a tribute to the late David Morris, beginning with his last film Together!,  commissioned by the UK Disabled People’s Council. David Morris was the Mayor of London’s Disability Adviser, in which role he founded the Liberty Festival and led work on External Inclusion for LOCOG until his sudden death in 2010. In the last two years of his life, David also created an extraordinary body of what he described as “filmed poems”, about his lived experience of disability. These were shot by David’s PAs using a domestic camcorder, and edited by David using voice-activated software at his home in Limehouse. 

On Saturday 8 December the Film Festival begins at noon with Oska Bright  on the Road, featuring films by and starring people with learning difficulties from across the world, including animations and dramas. At 2.30pm there are Films from the East, telling unique, moving and powerful stories from ‘Ordinary East Londoners’ and introduced by Eastside Community Heritage and young film-makers from the Barking and Dagenham Ab-Phab group. Then at 4.30pm the festival continues with Animate!, featuring animated films from the UK, Ireland and Canada. On Saturday evening at 6pm we have the UK PREMIERE of Warrior Champions (Brent Renaud, 2010), the multi-award-winning story of four wounded US service personnels’ 12 month-journey as they fight to compete in the 2008 Beijing Games.

On Sunday 9 December the festival restarts at noon with Artists’ Films and Videos, featuring recent films by leading British and international artists, and continues at 1pm with Short Documentaries; a2.30pm with Dance Films; and Short Dramas at 4pm. The festival finishes at 6pm with Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (Jesse Vile, 87 mins, 2012), introduced by Disability History Month Director Richard Rieser.

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