uScreen Wins AMI Interactive Media Award

The creative development agency and North Sea Screen Partners member, Screen South, has won a top award for helping build a more inclusive world for disabled people, with its uScreen interactive media project.

The Ability Media International (AMI) award was presented on Sunday 20th November at a glittering ceremony at the world famous London Studios. The packed event was attended by some of the UK Arts industry’s most influential and well respected players – including Downton Abbey actor Dame Maggie Smith, childrens’ TV pioneer Anna Home and filmmaker Mike Leigh.

Heralded by the international panel of judges as ‘innovative’ and ‘particularly tailored to disabled young people’s needs’, the uScreen project won ‘The Interactive Media Award 2011’. The multi-media learning and collaborating project, based around the uScreen website, enables its young users to make and edit films, learn new skills and build expert contact with mentors and specialists across the UK and internationally. uScreen is part of Accentuate, a transformational programme of 15 projects, inspired by the Paralympic Movement, which seeks to change perceptions and offer opportunities to showcase the talents of deaf and disabled people. Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK, SEEDA and the regional cultural agencies.

Renowned film producer Nik Powell (“Company of Wolves”, Mona Lisa”, “The Crying Game”), presented the award to Screen South’s Chief Executive Jo Nolan and Executive Director Special Projects, Sarah Dance.

Jo Nolan said: “It is fantastic that AMI has given this award in recognition of Screen South’s commitment to innovation and supporting filmmakers from all areas of the community – I hope this will help us to develop more opportunities for this dynamic area of our work.”

Sarah Dance commented: “Screen South is absolutely delighted to win this award. We are passionate about ensuring that all young people have access to making, showing and sharing their own films. Only 1% of people working in the film industry have a disability and through uScreen we hope to begin to open up an exciting world of film making possibilities and potential progression routes for young disabled people.”

Jane Jutsum, Leonard Cheshire Disability Innovative Projects Director and co-organiser of the AMI awards, comments: “Specially tailored to meet the full range of disabled young people’s needs, this innovative project provides the full spectrum of assistance to budding filmmakers that covers everything from directing films to making expert contacts and finding bursaries. uScreen is an outstanding project which will ultimately help promote a more inclusive world for people with disabilities."

The AMIs support the Ability Media Centre. Set up by Leonard Cheshire Disability, the centre gives disabled and disadvantaged young people the training and skills they need to meet the demands of the media industries.

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of disabled people in the UK and works in more than 50 countries. The organisation campaigns for change and provides innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way. Visit www.LCDisability.org

The Ability Media International Awards recognise and celebrate artistic excellence that promotes a more inclusive world. The awards are run by Leonard Cheshire Disability and supported by a creative board of leading arts and media professionals. www.amiawards.org

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