Matthew Hellett is a learning-disabled filmmaker and programmer who sits on the committee for Oska Bright – a leading international film festival and touring programme of short films made with the expertise of learning-disabled people, both behind and in front of the camera. Viewfinder commissioned Matthew to work with New Wolsey Theatre Agent for Change, Jamie Beddard to curate a selection of films which show great examples of where creative control of the work is in the hands of learning disabled performers, artists and film-makers. As part of the commission we asked Matthew and Jamie to film highlights of their conversation about some of the best work made by learning-disabled people.Read more »
Reflecting on the process, Matthew said:
“In September last year I was commissioned by Disability Arts Online for their Viewfinder project. I worked with Jamie Beddard, (a disabled Director, Writer and Actor) on the commission. It was a good piece of work for me, it was nice to work with an artist from outside of Carousel (the organization which supports Matthew as an artist). You get insight into another point of view and the conversation just came very naturally. It was a piece of programming work where I looked at films from the Oska Bright Film Festival going back over the years. I made a selection of short films and talked to Jamie about why I had chosen them.
It was different to work on a more one-to-one level, as a lot of the work I have done on the Oska Bright Festival is as part of a group. I liked that, I could think about my own choices more.
It was good looking back over the archive of films too. We have so many films in the Oska Bright archive going back to the first festival in 2004! The films have got better and better and it’s good to be able to show films that have stayed with me from years gone by.
This piece of work has helped me to think about my role as a Programmer. I’m taking part in Guiding Lights, a mentoring scheme run by Lighthouse where I will be matched with a professional from the film industry.
From the mentoring experience, I would like to get a better idea of how to programme things for next year’s festival. It would be nice to get an outside opinion on this and to hear more about how other people do it.
I’m looking forward to meeting my mentor and hearing about their background and experience in the Arts.”