Focus on ability film fest

PASSIONATE about film-making as well as helping those with disabilities, Alfords Point resident Victoria Valassis, 19, has entered the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival, featuring her deaf friend, Julian Lloyd, 20, after recently graduating with a TAFE Diploma in Film and Media.

A volunteer at retirement villages and Diversity Kids, and growing up in Canterbury Bankstown, Victoria explains: “Julian and I met in class at the beginning of the year at our TAFE college.
“I could sense he had something different about him but never asked.
“Then he told me he was deaf. I was fascinated by his story.
“Julian was born completely deaf and lived in silence for the first two years until he received cochlear ear implants.
“My intent for this documentary was to encourage and bring hope. I wanted to allow my friend Julian to express his feelings and inspire others that you should never give up and live life to its absolute fullest.
“I wanted to encourage people that you have the ability to do anything and dream big.
“It is possible to travel, make friends, have a part-time job, study your favourite course and play sports like Julian does; he absolutely loves surfing and the ocean.”
Victoria says Julian is a great role model and a humble human.
“This project has had a huge effect on the people I love and even those I don’t know,” Victoria said.
“Through making the film, I feel blessed to be able to raise awareness for people with a disability, as it may help someone.”
To view the film and vote for Victoria, visit focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/1791.html.
Voting is open until midnight today, July 3, with voters having the chance to win a $50 iTunes voucher.