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Video Contest to Bring Visibility to Disability

Author: Bloorview Kids Rehab Foundation

Published: 2010-06-21


Online video contest which will showcase the possibilities for children living with disabilities.

Main Digest

Filmpossible: Online Video Contest to Bring Visibility to Disability - Holland Bloorview is putting a call out to budding film-makers to enter filmpossible, a unique online video contest which will showcase the possibilities for children living with disabilities.

Film-makers have until Aug. 31 to submit their videos.

Using any type of video recorder, including cell phones, Holland Bloorview is challenging film-makers of all ages and abilities to show us their own creative twist on bringing visibility to disability.

"Filmpossible is a unique opportunity for film-makers to dispel myths, perhaps by showcasing achievements or showing changes we can make," said Christa Haanstra, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs. "By entering this contest, you can help Holland Bloorview change the way the world views childhood disability."

While the contest closes Aug. 31, entrants can increase their chances of becoming a finalist by entering early and encouraging their friends and family to visit and vote for their video. Three of the six finalists will be chosen by online public voting, open throughout the entry period. Another three finalists will be selected by a panel of celebrity judges. Winners will be determined by a final round of online public voting in October.

First prize winner will receive $5,000; second prize is valued at $500; and third prize is valued at $300. Three honorable mention prize winners will each receive a Flip Video Camcorder donated by Cisco.

Films will be reviewed by a jury consisting of an eclectic mix of people who have come together to embrace this important cause, including experts from the film industry, high profile comics, a singer and an acclaimed journalist and author.

Our judges include:

Trevor Boris, Much Music personality;

Ian Brown, Feature Writer, The Globe and Mail and best-selling author of The Boy in the Moon, about his disabled son, Walker.

Allen Braude, Co-Director, Learning, Toronto International Film Festival, Sprockets programmer;

Justin Hines, singer /songwriter working on his fourth studio albums. He has appeared on radio and in documentaries focusing on both his successes as an artist with Larsen's Syndrome and being a philanthropist;

Nikki Payne, award-winning comedian and actress, whose lisp and cleft lip give her an affinity with Holland Bloorview's issues;

Tania B. Reilly, Programming Manager, Canadian Film Center Worldwide Short Film Festival;

Karen Shopsowitz, award-winning independent filmmaker. Her most recent credit is One Summer at Camp Winston, a documentary about a camp for children with complex neurological disorders.

Working with a class from the Claude Watson School for the Arts, two Holland Bloorview youth ambassadors, Gabriella Carafa and Crystal Chin, helped kick start the contest by creating videos promoting filmpossible. The videos can be seen online at

"When I was younger, I used to fear growing up. I thought my adulthood would be spent struggling to do daily tasks of living and never experiencing things that able-bodied people my age would," said Gabriella, 21, of Toronto. "Holland Bloorview helped me to see the possibilities for people with disabilities. With this contest, we will be able to reach more people to show them what can be achieved."

Gabriella has a neuro-muscular disorder that affects her mobility and she uses a wheelchair.

In Canada, one in five Canadian families is raising a child with a significant emotional, behavioral or developmental disability; in Ontario alone, there are almost 230,000 kids with disabilities.

However, not everyone has had the opportunity to spend time with children with disabilities. "This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings about how kids with disabilities experience life. That's why filmpossible challenges people to create videos that bring visibility to disability," said Haanstra. "Let's work together to create a world where these children can live as full participants."

For more information, please visit

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation teaching hospital. For over a century, we have pioneered treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. Visit

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