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Image shows a close up of a camera with a person standing behind the camera. Across the top are the word 'International Day of People With A Disability Film Festival'

2019 IDPWD Film Festival

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 December, 2019 | Petersham Town Hall, Petersham, Sydney

Friday from 6pm: Cocktail Party | Comedy Debate | Feature Film

Friday from 7pm: Screen Industry Panel | Short Films


A weekend of totally FREE films, music and live performance will set the Inner West of Sydney buzzing on the first weekend in December to mark this year’s International Day of People With Disability.

Be captivated by breakout Irish feature film Sanctuary, feel the rhythm with jazz trio Blue Notes, and laugh out loud as a hilarious comedy debate questions ‘Are people with disability inspirational?’

Then follow up with a night of great local and international short films plus an industry panel on casting and crewing people with disability.



Let’s come together, support and elevate the voices of people with disability at this uniquely inclusive and accessible event at the Petersham Town Hall. Our vision is to model inclusive practice, to build a space where diversity is valued and thrives. A place of ideas, to share stories and collective experience through a celebration of film and discussion. We hope this will become a signature annual event for the Inner West that will influence local cinemas and creative venues to become more inclusive all the time.

This will be a celebration of film that is accessible for the whole community to experience. We will have audio descriptions, Auslan interpreters, closed captions, accessible seating that is not up the back, all assistance animals will be welcome, risers, lowered counters, and a quiets zone during the films.

PRINT-READY 9479 IDPWD Film Festival Poster

Friday 6 December

6pm| Opening Night Cocktail Party 

7pm | Comedy Debate: Join seven local comedians, performers, writers and directors for a hilarious and thought-provoking comedy debate as they tackle the thorny question of ‘Are people with disability inspirational?’ What kind of role models can people with disability be? Is there a place for inspiration porn? And do people with disability have super powers or are they just super boring like everyone else? Leading theatre director Anthea Williams will moderate the line-up of debaters which includes award-winning writer Gayle Kennedy, comedians Jamal Adbul and Frida Deguise, theatre/filmmaker Emily Dash, Midnight Feast performer Steve Simao, and Deaf Australia Chairperson and renowned raconteur Todd Wright.

8pm | Short Film Screenings

  • LOVE YOU TILL I DIE | Director: Rudely Interrupted | Australia Music video | 2 Minutes “I’m going to love you until I die, until I take my last breathe goodbye” – music video by Rudely Interrupted. One of Australia’s most unique independent rock acts, they have been touring and releasing their brand of pitch perfect indie-rock anthems across the globe since 2006.
  • RE-CAL-I-BRATE | Director: Brendan O’Connell | Australia Documentary | 6 Minutes Majid Rabet uses innovation, invention and art as his therapy and a way of overcoming the trauma he’s suffered as a refugee.
  • SANCTUARY | Director: Len Collin | Ireland Feature | 1 Hour 6 Minutes Never let love pass you by. Set in the world of people with intellectual disability, this is a touching and funny love story about Larry and Sophie, two people who long to be together in a world that does everything to keep them apart. Featuring cast members from the acclaimed Blue Teapot Theatre Company in Galway, Ireland.

Saturday 7 December

7pm | Screen Industry Panel: Reel Representation In the Arts: Australia’s screen industry is becoming increasingly aware of how authentic representation of people with disability can help improve how audiences engage with programming and content. This panel of industry experts will examine the creative and cultural benefits of having people with disability on screen and behind the scenes, plus what career pathways exist for actors and filmmakers with disability. Moderated by disability activist and educator Yasmin Farhart, the panel includes actor Chris Bunton, theatre/filmmaker Emily Dash, Create NSW Screen Sector Investment Manager Sofya Gollan and AFTRS Engagement Co-ordinator Gary Paramanathan. AFTRS will also be giving away a lucky door prize of a FREE AFTRS short course!

8pm | Short Film Screenings

  • YULUBIDYI UNTIL THE END|  Directors: Nathan Mewett, Curtis Taylor Australia | Short format | 12 Minutes A young Aboriginal man helps his disabled brother escape from their abusive life in a remote Australian aboriginal community.
  • PAUL | Director: Kasimir Burgess | Australia Short format | 5 Minutes A friend, a lover, a knight in shining armour… Meet Paul, who gives us an intimate glimpse into his world; as he shares his thoughts on love, loneliness, dancing and the awfully big adventure that is life.
  • HALLOWEEN | Director: Thomas Iacono | Australia | Animation | 2 Minutes A playful homage to Halloween by Thomas Iacono, an artist at Arts Project Australia.
  • LISTENING TO A SMILE | Directors: Radisti Ayu Praptiwi, Carya Maharja | Indonesia Documentary | 24 Minutes Poetic documentary from Indonesia made in the social realist tradition. Explores the lived experience of Ruism who is blind and how he navigates his way through the many demands that life imposes upon him.
  • DESIGN-ABILITY | Directors: Manal El Ouady, Joe Langham, Gemma Praditngam, Jon English, Tom Garner, Lizzie Jenkins, Ieva Zellite, Harry Davies, Billy Craigan-toon, Katya Barton, Joe White, Ryan Pallett, Kyshia Williams Spain | Documentary | 33 Minutes In a world of oversaturated design, how do you remain original, extraordinary and unique? Design-ability is an investigation into the work of La Casa de Carlota, a Barcelona based professional design studio and the power of inclusion in the workplace.
  • GASLIT | Director: Naomi Chainee | Australia Short format | 9 Minutes A young disabled woman fights to hold on to her identity in the face of the world’s assumptions, and strives for independence from her parents, who doubt her ability to become a mother. Content warning: Depictions of ableism and implied sexual assault.