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ABILITYFEST 2011 brought with it a host of award winning feature films, documentaries and short films from across the world by, with and about people with disabilities. It was indeed a celebration on celluloid! If Temple Grandin, the story of a feisty young girl with autism who takes the male dominated world of animal husbandry by storm stirred the emotions, Soloist, the story of a unique friendship between a musically talented schizophrenic and a journalist was worth a view. From After Thomas to Beautiful to May I come In… all the movies screened at the fest impacted a wide range of audience. “The movies imbibed a different perspective from what we had imagined. Disability was always given a negative and pitiable connotation in the society, but it is actually about celebrating diversity”, said one member of the audience.

The fest was flagged off with the screening of the recent Tamil block buster Deiva Thirumagal with audio description. It was altogether an exciting experience for the visually impaired persons in the audience. For the first time, they could enjoy a movie completely, without having their companions help them to describe each scene… The presence of A. L. Vijay, director, Deiva Thirumagal on the day of the inaugural added to the atmosphere…a silent and successful movement towards accessible cinema continues…

An audio described clip from Deiva Thirumagal Film

The valedictory performance was made very special with a presentation of Western classical music by some of the best students of A R Rahman’s K M Music Conservatory. This was followed by the announcement of the winners of ‘60 Seconds to Fame!’ competition. The jury members were Nagesh Kukunoor, Rohini, N Venugopal, Dr Aishwarya Bhujangarao and Angshu Jajodia.

Theme 2011 - "Breaking Barriers"

The Jury:

•  Nagesh Kukunoor
•  Rohini
•  N.Venugopal
•  Dr. Aishwarya Bhujangarao
•  Angshu Jajodia

Prize Winning Films - ABILITYFEST 2011

1st Prize - See You!
Filmmakers: C Madhavan, Pondicherry
* Click to see video

2nd Prize - The National Anthem in Hindi with Indian Sign Language
Filmmakers: R. Rangasayee, Mumbai
* Click to see video

3rd Prize - Sand Castle
Filmmakers: Kiruthiga, Chennnai.
* Click to see video