My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) episode 8 has won the Best of Fest. IYAF Under 17 Production award 2015!
I’ve come back from this festival fueled with confidence, positivity and new skills, because IYAF (International Youth Arts Festival) genuinely is about what it says it’s about; celebrating creative youth, giving us platforms to be heard on, next to established artists who are already successful in the creative industries, and chances to practise and learn more skills.
Opportunities given to me at this festival were getting the chance to interview lots of different creatives, be interviewed, vlog, present an award, introduce my film to a live audience, be on a talk panel, and see my film screened on a big screen in different venues.And of course get to experience the whole event from launch parties, gala night and end of fest party, live gigs, dance, drama, poetry, art, theatre, films, comedy, panel talks about the creative industries. And before I tell you about my part in the festival I just want to say if you are thinking of being involved in IYAF GO FOR IT! As it will be a lifelong memorable experience of the best kind. The people running it are fabulous, its dynamic and fun.
I had the amazing opportunity of seeing my film screened twice at the festival, the first time as part of the Birdies Film Festival projected alongside Riverside Edge, and the second time to a full audience inside the Rose Theatre in a cinema that IYAF had set up especially for the screening! My sisters were there with me and I introduced the film to the audience. It was a great experience.
One of the best parts about sitting there with a live audience was that I got to see the audience’s reaction. One of the things that I love about the My Little Sister films, is that often people who’ve never heard about or don’t know what Down’s syndrome is watch the films, and come up to me filled with positivity and curiosity afterwards, that happened at IYAF and it felt great to give people a fresh picture of Down’s syndrome.
All these amazing opportunities that have come out of the festival, a lot of them have come from the festival director Trevor Blackman. He was one of the nicest people ever and gave me the most amazing opportunities! All the team and founders, Phil, Robin, Sarah, Maria and too many to mention had the same genuine spirit and ethos.
Mo Ali and Jassa Ahluwalia are positive inspirations to me, and it was great to be on the panel with them and have them be at the cinema screening of ‘My Little Sister…’ and show them my other film work. Such a boost having them enjoy my films and get acknowledgement and encouragement from them. Related to what they said, hearing them talk about the commitment and single minded focus needed to make films too.
I had a great opportunity of boosting my confidence by vlogging daily! You can check out my first few vlogs below
In my first IYAF vlog I go to the first official event of the festival! The Next Level Music Night followed by the K Games in Kingston skatepark.
In my second IYAF vlog I go to K Town Live, and the Carnival Parade!
In my third IYAF vlog me and Magdalena see the My Little Sister trailer screened at the Royal Gala Night! And I have a chat with Radio Presenter Dobbs.
In my fourth vlog of IYAF I go to a Bars and Melody concert.
I have been editing and uploading these vlogs on the go at about 1 in the morning throughout the festival each day, I had lots more ready to upload, including videos of my film screenings, interviews with artists and presenters, me talking on a film biography panel, me accepting my best of fest award and much more, but unfortunately on the last day of the festival our car got robbed.
We’d gone swimming in Chiswick the morning of the last day, then we were planning to go to my big sister’s flat where I was going to finish editing the vlogs and get them uploaded to youtube. When we came out of the pool we were in complete confusion trying to take in that camera equipment, computer, phones, ipads, purses and everything else of value had gone. It was absolutely devastating, and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I have not only lost all the footage and photos from the festival, but they also stole an external hard drive which had a year’s worth of footage ready for the next My Little Sister film.
I’m still holding out that with the appeal on facebook and the press coverage and I.T.V. wales interviewing me this week that someone will find the external hard drive and memory cards and return them.
To watch my interview on ITV news click the link below
Please share the above link, and if you have any information or have found anything regarding the case then please contact Hounslow police on 101, quoting crime number 0514642-15
I won’t let it stop me film making, although I obviously can’t film at the moment without my kit. Thank you so much for all the press coverage, the FaceBook shares and all the emails of encouragement.
Ready for selling at the festival were the first My Little Sister DVDs. So exciting to make them ourselves and see them finished. We have a small quantity available at the moment of these handmade hand signed first edition DVDs as they are very time consuming to make! So we will make them in batches. I am completely self-funded so by buying these films you are supporting me to make more!
but if you would like to hold a real DVD in your hand then please send us your address via the contact page telling us which films you would like. The first 7 films cost £14.99 and Episode 8 costs £12.99
Oh and one last thing…Have you noticed how fast my website now is? Bigup to nakedwebdesign. I’ll be updating all the pages over the coming months so watch this space.