Matthew Hellett was named as one of the country’s Learning Disability Leaders on the Dimensions Leaders List, the UK’s first national list which recognises people with learning disabilities and autism who are challenging stereotypes and entrenched social prejudices, to make communities better for themselves and others.
Matthew, Lead Programmer of Carousel’s Oska Bright Film Festival, is delighted to be recognised for his achievements in arts and culture. He says:
“I’m proud of the impact my work is having on the UK’s film industry. It’s only by giving learning disabled and autistic film-makers a platform that their voices and vision can be appreciated by the cinema going public. I’ve learned that the best way to change things is through positive action; the more industry panels and festival showcases I attend the more the voice of learning disabled and autistic film-makers is being heard. It is an honour to be on this important list amongst my peers.”
Launched in 2018, the Dimensions campaign had 600 entries this year, selected by a panel including actress Sally Philips.
Sarah Clarke, Campaigns Manager at Dimensions adds
“We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating Matthew Hellett whose work is not only challenging perceptions but also inspiring others and showing the world that everyone can make a difference.”
The award is a confidence boost for Matthew who gives his time year round to plan, promote and present Oska Bright Film Festival. He hopes it will encourage other learning disabled and autistic people to think seriously about making the arts central to their lives and influence funders and decision makers to support this important work.
Oska Bright Film Festival is produced by arts company Carousel who work in film, music, digital and broadcast arts, developing and showcasing talent.
Oska Bright Film Festival 2019 screened 99 short films from 17 countries to an audience of 2,500 people across four days at The Old Market, Hove. It is supported by the BFI and is a BAFTA Qualifying Film Festival.
The next Oska Bright Film Festival takes place in 2021. Find out how to submit a short film at www.oskabright.org
Dimensions are a not-for-profit provider who support people with learning disabilities and autism to have a louder voice, choice and control in their lives.
Statistics from Dimensions new research shows why celebrating achievements of people with learning disabilities and autism is so important:
- 96% of people with learning disabilities and autism have felt misunderstood
- 99% think people don’t understand what people with learning disabilities and autism are capable of
- 54% think they don’t get the same opportunities as others
- 92% want to be more involved in government and business decisions