By Ebunola Adenipekun
After months of planning, the day of our Technology Taskforce film festival finally arrived and it was truly an amazing event! (Even if we do say so ourselves!)
Generously hosted by KPMG at their Canary Wharf offices and sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the event saw the outcome of the previously set 72 hour film challenge to university students who were asked: “Business, technology, disability: how does technology showcase disabled talent?”. The challenge called on students from across the country to create a film that embodied the brief. Prizes were donated by Barclays, Microlink, Microsoft, Santander – and KPMG who gave a top of the range laptop!
As well as showcasing great film, we also wanted the event to provoke thoughts about the next generation of disabled people and as they prepare to enter the world of work with a fresh set of ideas, perspectives and expectations, are we as employers ready to harness this new pool of talent, or will existing barriers mean that we miss the opportunity?
In third place was ‘The Wheelchair Man’, by Trine Hagan, Gavin Roberts and Joey Thompson from the University of Creative Arts. It told the story of student Joey who has adjusted to life with a disability while at university both by getting used to assistive technology and with the support of others through online spaces such as YouTube. They won 2 Amazon Echo dots and an Amazon Firestick TV.
The runner up was ‘Why I Make My Life So Hard’ by Oliver Lam-Watson of Kingston University, which came from a question the filmmaker asked himself about carrying heavy and often clunky filming gear around in his determination to be an influential filmmaker. He won Wembley tickets, Amazon Echo dot, as well as a Motorola Moto Smart watch.
And *drumroll please*…
….first place was given to Wolf pack a talented team of two Wolverhampton University students, William Horsefield and Samuel Ash whose film ‘Big Day’ examined how assistive technology could help someone move into the world of work, through interviews and beyond. The film also explored the creation of an app in which sign language could be converted to text on a phone. An exciting prospect!
Wolf pack, won 1st place receiving an Amazon Echo, Lenovo X260 Laptop, XBOX One S 1TB and Minecraft games and an Apple TV.
Jeff A. King, Assistant Vice President, European IT, Enterprise Rent-A-Car said: “We’ve teamed up with the Business Disability Forum’s Technology Taskforce for a unique event. It’s a Film Festival that provides a look at the world through the eyes of young disabled students preparing to go for their first jobs. It goes without saying that workplaces need to understand each new generation of graduates. After all they are the people who will ultimately shape the organisation and ensure it meets the future with fresh ideas and remains relevant. More immediately, this is about getting the best out of every employee in the organisation and utilising the most diverse possible pool of talent.”
As well as the three talented winners, there were also short films from our hosts KPMG who screened ‘No More Awkwardness’ which highlighted how within their organisation the conversation of disability is normalised.
Our sponsors Enterprise Rent-A-Car screened their film ‘The Blind Hike’ which was a tale of a father and son who use their rented cars to explore the world.
We also screened our own film ‘Inside Nutmeg House’ – taking a look at why we do what we do through a day in the life of a Disability Consultant and a Relationship Manager.
This film festival had a great turn out from our membership, so a big thank you to all who came along to support and we very much look forward to seeing you next year!