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Into its third edition, ABILITYFEST 2009  featured some amazing films from 19 countries – shorts, documentaries and feature films. Each of the award winning films  screened, was worth a viewing - whether it was the evocative German film  “Beyond Silence”which was the inaugural film; the heartwarming “The Way Home” from Korea or the 1948 B&W American classic “Johnny Belinda”, to name a few. Sourav Sarangi’s documentary “Bilal”, and Umesh Kulkarni’s “Three of Us” were the Indian representations at ABILITYFEST 2009.

Our closing screening was special for several reasons. Aamir Khan’s blockbuster, "Taare Zameen Par", was presented to Indian audiences for the first time with audio description for the blind.  For the many visually impaired persons who were with us for the screening, it was a transformatory experience. As one of them said, "It was a fantastic experience. We could actually see what otherwise what we couldn't see with our eyes. For instance when the titles were on we understood the visuals. Thanks to the audio description, we saw more than we always do."

Eminent people lent their valuable support to ABILITYFEST 2009… our guests at the inaugural were US Consul General in Chennai Andrew Simkin, actor Tabu who released the festival book and A.R.Rahman who inaugurated ABILITYFEST 2009.

The valedictory function was an exciting occasion too, with the winners of the 60 seconds to fame! being announced. The members of the jury was an impressive line up – Balu Mahendra (Chairperson), Shobhana, Resul Pookutty, Bina Paul, Meenu Bhambhani and Aditya Govindaraj. Presiding over the function was Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr Navin Chawla.

Theme 2009 - "Equal Opportunities"

The Jury:

•  Balu Mahendra
•  Shobana
•  Resul Pookutty
•  Meenu Bhambani
•  Beena Paul
•  Radha Mohan
•  Aditya Govindaraj

Prize Winning Films - Ability Fest 2009

1st Prize - FEEL THE MUSIC
Filmmakers: Shalini Agarwal & Deepak Nambiar, Mumbai
* Click to see video

Filmmakers: Pallavi Sharma & Shagun Agarwal, Noida
* Click to see video

3rd Prize - STE(O)PS
Filmmakers: N.Dhanasekaran, Chennai
* Click to see video

3rd Prize - THINK EQUAL
Filmmakers: Virinder Singh Villkhoo, Mumbai
* Click to see video