Over the course of 2015 and 2016 I.C.E.’s My Life, My Art initiative saw the development of 10 short films featuring artists with a disability exploring facets of their art and practice whilst tackling the big issues of life, identity and creativity. The films created over this two-year initiative continue to reach national and international audiences through film festivals and special screenings.
Most recently, The Milky Pop Kid directed by Johanna Garvin, a sly satire on the hot button issue of able-bodied actors portraying characters with a disability, has screened in North America as part of the ReelAbilities Film Festivals in New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Portland, Columbus and Houston as well as special screenings at the Google Headquarters, Pace University and for Mobility International USA, a program coordinating orientations for students with disabilities participating in the US State Department’s sponsored exchange programs – a long way from it premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in 2017, where the screenwriters were highly commended in the Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award.
And hot on the heels of these screenings, The Milky Pop Kid has just been announced as part of the official selection in Melbourne’s The Other Film Festival, along with Life Is Short Time Is Constant aka LISTIC, director Vanna Seang’s short documentary about blind musician and free-styler Lima Peni, and re-cal-i-brate, director Brendan O’Connell’s tribute to artist and engineer Majid Rabet, who uses innovation and invention to overcome the trauma he’s suffered as a refugee.
Other titles from the My Life, My Art suite have screened at the 2017 Irish Film Festival, (Sydney), 2016 Antenna Documentary Film Festival (with Two Heads Are Better than One by director Ludwig El Haddad shortlisted for Best Short Documentary), 2016 FILEF Short Film Competition Inclusion/e (with Gerard O’Dwyer winning Best Performance for Anaconda directed by Jerome Pearce), and the 2016 Bradford City of Film – Small World Film Festival (UK).
My Life My Art was supported by the NSW Government through the Department of Family and Community Services and Create NSW (formerly Screen NSW) as an initiative to produce new screen content for the wider community that shares the stories of local artists who identify as people living with a disability. This initiative continues to result in significant outcomes.
Words by Barry Gamba and Morgan Graham
Video Still from re-cal-i-brate directed by Brendan O’Connell