Café Chat, a short Claymation film made by students from NMIT's Work Education Centre along with the NMIT Performing Arts and Information Technology departments, has been nominated for an Oska Bright award.
The Oska Bright Film Festival in the UK showcases short films made by people with a learning disability. Café Chat has been nominated for Most Original Film, with the winner being announced at the festival in November.
The work was entirely created by students, including the rap song at the end of the film and the photos on the DVD cover. NMIT's Performing Arts department assisted with the sound and NMIT Information Technology students worked tirelessly on the post-production of the film, making it a true collaboration between NMIT departments. The finished product stands as a testament to the abilities of all those involved.
NMIT Work Education Centre student Jamie enjoyed the experience. “I'd love to do it again if I could. All the team were very well organized and we all had a great time doing it. It gave me a lot of teamwork skills, self management skills and confidence.”
The project not only offered the students a unique learning opportunity, it provided a vehicle for staff to work across campuses and Faculties, sharing expertise; Martin Randall (IT Dept, NMIT Collingwood) and Andrew Gannon (PA Dept, NMIT Greensborough) collaborated with Gretta Newall and Kirsten Woodhouse (WEC, NMIT Preston).
NMIT Work Education Centre teacher Kirsten Woodhouse, who led the project in 2010, will attend the award ceremony. She will be representing the combined efforts of students and her colleagues. “For the students it was a memorable experience to create something unique like this. It was a learning experience that they can share with others and the project gave them the opportunity to further develop skills which they can take with them into the workplace.”
Working on separate days, the two Work Education classes created an eight-minute film, made up of their own voice recordings, talking about their life experiences and brought to life through animation. The film focuses on young people meeting in a café. It touches on social relations and the difference between real, face-to-face conversations, as opposed to Internet “friendships” and makes the point that sometimes we need to be a little brave to make new friends.
The students, mentored by award-winning animator Anthony Lawrence, sculpted characters, painted sets and used the software Stop Motion Pro, to create the short film. Anthony says the students have created a very fun film and they can be proud of the award nomination. “They'll have the satisfaction of seeing something they created go out to a worldwide audience,” Lawrence says. “They'll see their potential to achieve anything they set their mind to.”
The NMIT Work Education Centre has plans to continue with more film-making projects in the next few years, giving future students a chance to explore their creativity, work together and produce something to be proud of.
To watch Café Chat, go to www.nmit.edu.au/goto/wec/projects/cafechat/
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Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.