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ABILITYFEST 2015 India International Disability Film Festival, was held from 28 September to 1 October , 2015 at Sathyam Cinemas. This was the 6th edition of this pioneering event, and we would really like to thank the sponsors for making every edition of the event possible, and the public for coming in large numbers over the years to watch each screening.

We had some amazing films this year from around the world by, with and about people with disabilities. Award winning films from across the world were selected to give the Festival a global perspective to disability and inclusion. These included short films, documentaries and feature films that covered various disabilities. The features ‘Dolphin Tale’ (USA), and ‘Run if you Can’ (Germany) had locomotor disabilities as a theme, while ‘M for Mother’ and ‘The Painting Pool’ (Iran) and the feature length documentary ‘Mimi and Dona’ (USA) were in the context of intellectual disabilities. Autism was the focus in ‘Wretches and Jabberers’ (USA) and ‘Hopeful Solutions’ (France). The theme of deafness formed the background of films like ‘I sign, I live’ (The Netherlands) and ‘The Hyperglot ‘(USA). Two interesting presentations this year were the short film ‘Him’ which addressed the issue of ageing and deafness, as seen through the eyes of Tim Barlow; and ‘iWitness’ which starred British actor David Proud (a person with spina bifida and a wheelchair user) essaying the role of a non disabled person. ‘The Interviewer’ (Australia) featured a young actor with Down Syndrome and how much society underestimates people with disabilities.

Margarita with a Straw (India) was presented for the first time with audio description for the blind. During the post screening discussion, co-director Nilesh Maniyar spoke of the protagonist Laila’s journey of self-discovery, and the acceptance by her conventional family of the choices she makes. Revathy, who played Laila’s mother, spoke of how actor Kalki Koechlin worked so hard on the role of Laila, spending time with Malini Chib, the real life inspiration behind the film.

ABILITYFEST 2015 was made possible by principal sponsors The Hans Foundation, CavinKare Pvt Ltd and Sathyabama University. The Hans Foundation (THF) is a charitable trust fund, created in 2009, to provide a source of endowment for not-for-profit organizations in India. The co-sponsors were Wipro, Thums up, Grundfos and AVT.  The Festival was supported by The Hindu, Galatta, The New Indian Express, the U.S.Consulate-General, the Goethe Institut and Iran Culture House. Logistics support was provided by Blue Dart, hospitality by The Park and gifts by Kesar. The venue partner was SPI cinemas, technical partner Qube and radio partner Chennailive 104.8 FM.

Ability Fest 2015
Click here for AbilityFEST 2015 - Festival Book
Click here for Screening Schedule

THEME: "Coming Together: Hand-in-Hand"

The Jury:

•  Jaya Bachchan
•  Prahlad Kakar
•  A L Vijay
•  Justin Jesudas
•  Sruti Mohapatra

Prize Winning Films - ABILITYFEST
1st Prize - "Along with me"
Filmmakers:K. Vimalraj
* Click to see video

2nd Prize - "Bus"
* Click to see video

3rd Prize - "Veekshanam"
Filmmakers:Ragesh Vijay
* Click to see video

Jury Special Mention - Colors
Filmmakers:Harikrishnan. G
* Click to see video

Jury Special Mention - Oneness
Filmmakers:Prajin Pazhuvil
* Click to see video

Click here for 60 Seconds to Fame Shortlist Films