Sit Down Shut Up and Watch

Performing Art - 21 Dec 2016 by Leah Blankendaal

Lee Witczak, Chairperson,  James Kurtze, (Internationally Awarded Film Maker), S

Lee Witczak, Chairperson, James Kurtze, (Internationally Awarded Film Maker), Sam Charles (Secretary), Ryan Thomas (Location Scout) and Matthew Wauchope (Workshop Facilitator). The gentleman in the purple shirt is Peter Dickson, Filmmaker from Girards Hill, NSW, receiving his Award for the Special Effects and New Media Award for his film Trolleyman.

The second Sit Down Shutup and Watch Film & New Media Festival on October 21st was a huge success with over 600 people visiting Angaston to watch the screenings, participate in discussions and celebrate the nominees and winners at the SDSW Red Carpet Awards Night.

SDSW is Australia’s only learning disability led festival and the high standard of entries furthered the committee’s vision of one day having films and digital media work by learning disabled artists screened on everything from iPhones to the world’s biggest LED screen in Times Square.

Lee Witczak, Chairperson of the SDSW Steering Committee said: “The festival is definitely an international event for Regional South Australia with over 40 entries by filmmakers from New Zealand, Canada, England, Ireland and across Australia screened on the day. Our aim is to showcase the film-making talents of people with a learning disability and the range of stories and diverse genres of the 2016 entries was fantastic, as was attendance at this year’s festival. Audience numbers were up 20% which clearly demonstrates that people with a learning disability have a lot to say that the public is interested in.”

The Festival culminated with the celebratory Red Carpet Awards in the Angaston Town Hall on the evening of October 21st. Ten Awards were presented by South Australian identities including MP Tony Piccolo and Deputy Mayor Margaret Harris, both long term supporters of SDSW, and this year a young South Australian film maker Amechai Bawden took out The Best of Fest Award.

1. Awareness / Our Story – to EBL Disability Services for their film The Escape Artists

2. Music Video Award – to Hannah Mason, from Heart n Soul in London for her film Fishwater

3. Documentary Award – to Amechai Bawden from Mt Gambier, for his film I Am Runner

4. Best Animation – went to Sam Bateman, from Adelaide, for his film Pinning Down on Luck.

5. Most Original Film was awarded to Duncan Armstrong, Alyx Duncan and Touch Compass Dance Company, New Zealand, for their film Drumming is Like Thunder

6. The Hive Award [awarded to the organisation that submits the greatest number of films made by people with learning disabilities] was given to Heart n Soul in London.

7. Funniest Film went to Sam Bateman, for his film Pinning Down on Luck

8. Best Special Effects & New Media was awarded to Peter Dickson from New South Wales for his film Trolleyman

9. Best of Festival went to Amechai Bawden from Mt Gambier, for his film I Am Runner and

10. People’s Choice Award went to Sam Bateman for another film he made: The Dandy Lion.

Check out the great photos of the Red Carpet Awards Presentation on their facebook page.

And you can watch all of the winning films by visiting the SDSW webpage: The third Sit Down Shutup and Watch Film & New Media Festival will be in October 2018. Dates and information will be posted on the webpage as soon as they are available.