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NMIT Work Education student film wins international award

22 Mar 2013

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Work Education student film project, Cafe Chat, has won the 2011 Oska Bright Festival award for Most Original Film.

Now in its fifth year, the Oska Bright Festival is a three-day event exhibiting films made by people with a learning disability from around the world. This year's festival was held in Brighton (UK) and attended by representatives from around the globe including Australia, Canada, Israel and the UK to name a few.

Café Chat is a short claymation film made by students from NMIT's Work Education Centre along with the NMIT Performing Arts and Information Technology departments.

Two Work Education classes created the eight-minute film, made up of their own voice recordings, talking about their life experiences. 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.

NMIT Work Education staff member, Kirsten Woodhouse, represented NMIT at the Festival awards presentation on 25 November and was thrilled to pick up the award for Most Original Film.

“For Café Chat to be awarded Most Original Film was tremendous,” said Ms Woodhouse.

“This recognition sends a great message for all the students and staff who created this work. We received great feedback at the Festival and people commented on the 'real experiences' of the students. We've even had an invitation to enter Cafe Chat into the Canadian Wide Angle Media Festival.

“What became very clear from the Oska Bright festival entries were the common themes of community, identity and self determination. Having an international audience relate and respond to Cafe Chat, means we share the same values, desires and needs, and it just makes us feel a lot closer together.

“The Festival shows how important it is to have our students' stories out there for all to view and hear. Now we have to start making more films and get back to Oska Bright, Brighton for 2013!”

Collaborative effort between NMIT departments

The work was entirely created by NMIT 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 NMIT filmmakers were mentored by award-winning animator, Anthony Lawrence and were involved in every part of the claymation filmmaking process including sculpting characters, painting sets and using the software Stop Motion Pro.

“They'll have the satisfaction of seeing something they created go out to a worldwide audience,” said Lawrence. “They'll see their potential to achieve anything they set their mind to.”

The Oska Bright Festival

The Oska Bright Festival is the world's first film festival run by people with a learning disability for filmmakers with learning disabilities.

The festival originated out of an initiative between the UK's Junk TV (youth and community production company) and Carousel (a learning disability arts charity) who began collaborating in 2000 to assist people with learning disabilities to make films.

Oska Bright is now held every two years with a road show and workshop also touring the UK. The next Oska Bright Festival is scheduled for 2013.

More information on the Oska Bright 2011 Festival can be found at

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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