The Kat Awards 2023

Colour photograph of awards trophies.







And the winners are…

Best Animation

still from filmOscillation. Kathleen Wijns. Belgium. 2022. 6m 4s. No Dialogue. F, D. A cat goes on a quest to understand his dissociative disorder. “Beautifully expresses the feeling of being disconnected and falling apart through colour, movement and shape.”

Best Artists Film

still from the filmDo you understand? Jack Smallwood. United Kingdom. 2022. 5m 2s. In BSL with English captions. DDD. A film-poem exploring the concept of dual identity, featuring people who are Deaf/hard of hearing from Wolverhampton.  “A powerful Sign film-poem that everyone can access and needs to watch.”

Best Dance Film

Still from filmIn my skin. Sándor M. Salas. Spain. 2022. 14m. UK Premiere. Minimal captioned dialogue. DDD. Far from homogenizing parameters, flamenco uses the subversive power of art to enhance the diverse bodies on stage. Disability is no longer a limit, but a creative starting point. “A beautiful demonstration of how the power of flamenco is only enhanced by the inclusion of people with diverse bodies and ways of being.”

Best Documentary

Still from filmFire through dry grass. Alexis Neophytides, Andres Molina. United States. 2022. 1hr 26m. In English with English captions. F, DDD. Co-Directors Alexis Neophytides and Andres “Jay” Molina take viewers inside Coler nursing home, on Roosevelt Island, where Jay lives with his fellow Reality Poets, a group of mostly gun violence survivors. Using GoPros clamped to their wheelchairs, they document their harrowing experiences on “lock down” during the first year of the Covid pandemic. “The most important Disability Film – the most important film – made about Covid 19, by some of New York’s most distinctive poets. Everyone should watch this.”

Best Drama

still from the filmInspired. Darian Slattery. United States. 2023. 28m. European Premiere. In English and ASL with English captions. FF, DDD. Raina, once the only Deaf and Disabled person in film school, reunites with her ex and former TA, Sebastian. On their date it becomes clear that the ways in which their college romance–and its sudden end–inspired the people they’ve become and the actions they take. Their love was never normal, it was special. “Exposes the continuing exploitation by commercial filmmakers of Deaf and Disabled people and our lived experiences. The storytelling, acting and direction come together brilliantly in this funny and devastatingly truthful film.”

Best Film in a Language Other than English

still from the filmMe If I were a woman. Aurelie Bock. France. 2022. 27m 8s. French with English Captions. FF, DD. Juliette is a 19 year old woman with Down syndrome experiencing her first love. But her romance is quickly marred by contraception issues. Juliette is pressured by her mother and doctors to undergo sterilisation surgery because of her disability. The young woman has only a short time to make a decision and her voice heard. “A complex and beautifully acted story highlighting the restrictions placed on disabled women’s sexuality and fertility, an issue that affects many women around the world from different impairment groups.”

Best First Film

still from the filmTypical? Sarah Leigh. United Kingdom. 2023. 14m. In English with English captions. F, D. Frustrated by how they are treated, a group of Disabled individuals challenge the narrative and barriers that society has placed upon them. “A sensitive and multi-layered exploration of the lived experiences of Disabled people, performed and directed with distinction. We look forward to seeing the next one.”

Best Inclusion Film

still from the filmSay what you see. Andrew Mister, Joao Bulsing. United States. 2023. 30m. European Premiere. In English with English captions. D. This is the story of the untapped potential of audio description. When Thomas Reid became blind as an adult, he created a podcast to advocate for audio description. Simultaneously, media has begun to incorporate audio descriptions into their showings. Say What You See introduces you to the many faces of audio description and how the audience, sighted or blind, can benefit from using audio description. “Every filmmaker and programme maker should watch this film about the many aspects and importance of Audio Description, but really it’s of interest to everyone.”

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Supported using public funding by Arts Council EnglandFilm LondonCommunity Fund