Carlson School stu­dents fea­ture in film

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

Cere­bral palsy stu­dents from Auck­land have proved their talent by star­ring in an in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­val.

Seven stu­dents from the Carlson School for Cere­bral Palsy in Three Kings fea­ture in The He­roes of Room 5, a short film fol­low­ing the boys’ quest to prove their abil­ity to have a voice in the com­mu­nity.

The film has been en­tered into the Fo­cus on Abil­ity Short Film Fes­ti­val, an Aus­tralian-based com­pe­ti­tion aimed at rais­ing aware­ness of the abil­i­ties of peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

In 2015 the school en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion for the first time and won the judges’ choice award, earn­ing the school based on St An­drews Rd $5000.

They’ve en­tered again this year with a film that doc­u­ments a re-en­act­ment of a time a few years ago when the stu­dents wrote letters to the coun­cil ex­press­ing is­sues they faced ac­cess­ing the com­mu­nity.

It shows dam­aged foot­paths around the school that made it dif­fi­cult for the boys to get to nearby places in their wheel­chairs, such as Mt Roskill Li­brary.

Teacher Su­san Gauci says this made them ner­vous to leave the school.

‘‘They de­cided to write a let­ter and they got an amaz­ing re­sponse,’’ she says.

‘‘The coun­cil brought some­one over and they showed the gen­tle­men all the cracks, he took pho­tos and within six months the coun­cil fixed every­thing up for them.’’

The He­roes of Room 5 is all about ex­press­ing the boys’ em­pow­er­ment and abil­ity to speak out, Gauci says

‘‘They can con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity and their voice counts, if they have some­thing to say, say it, peo­ple will lis­ten, they can ac­com­plish things just like the com­pe­ti­tion wants them to show.’’

Stu­dent Quinn Ash­ton, 17, says he felt happy and ex­cited to see the film on­line. Vince Amosa, 16, says he now wants to be in a film like High School Mu­si­cal. Next the boys plan to work on a project for the Fair Go Ad Awards.

‘‘We’re just start­ing to get more cre­ative and get the juices flow­ing,’’ Gauci says.

The film was shot and edited by film­maker and friend of the school Harry ‘Hank’ Snell. It also stars Tago Ah Leong, Wil­liam Thorn­ton-Pett, Ron Tua, Jor­dan Buck­ley and Mir­a­cle Faulalo.

PHOTO: HUGH COLLINS

Vince Amosa, Quinn Ash­ton and Taga Ah Leong star in The He­roes of Room 5.

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