A Moreton Bay filmmaker has taken home one of the top gongs at a gala awards event in Sydney on October 16.
Lenny Seberry, from Beachmere, won the coveted Judge’s Choice Documentary category at the NOVA Employment 2022 Focus On Ability Short Film Awards.
Lenny’s five-minute film, titled A Day in the Life of, featured his friend Nathan Tessman, also known as MC Wheels – a Sunshine Coast rap artist who lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress.
Lenny has known MC Wheels for more than 10 years and shoots all his music videos through his business Daideo Productions.
This was the second time he has filmed MC Wheels for this competition.
In this clip, MC Wheels challenges his carer Rachel Westby to undertake a number of daily tasks – such as texting on the phone with your nose, laying on the floor and putting a jumper on, skateboarding around an obstacle course, manoeuvring a motorised wheelchair in public and being hand fed at a restaurant – to highlight the differences in how a disabled person and an able-bodied person move.
To complete the challenges, Rachel taped her limbs to ensure she had the same function of movement as MC Wheels.
Speaking to Moreton Daily after their big win, Lenny and MC Wheels said they were still riding a high from the weekend.
“This was our second year entering and I wasn’t expecting to win,” Lenny said.
“Of course I was hoping, but didn’t actually think I would.
“To be named the winner out of 60-odd movies, it was amazing and very surreal.
“Taking out the Judges Choice award meant a lot to me because it meant the film was judged by industry professionals, not a public vote or a social media push or anything like that.”
Lenny was awarded $5000 and a number of mentoring sessions with documentary director, writer, and producer, Heidi Lee Douglas.
“Those mentoring sessions are priceless to me,” Lenny said.
“I am really excited to learn from her.”
MC Wheels said he was proud of Lenny and thanked him for sharing his story.
“I know that it was my story, and I had a big involvement in it, but I was happier for Lenny than myself,” he said.
“Seeing the joy and happiness on his face, is something I will always remember.
“I’ve known Lenny for more than 12 years and it’s great to see his work getting recognised.
“It was great of Lenny to make the film, and great of Rachel to suggest the idea for the film to show what life can be like for people with a disability.”
Focus on Ability Creative Director Ryan Goodwin said Lenny’s win was well deserved.
“A Day in the Life Of was such a very worthy winner. The documentary gives us all a unique perspective into the day in the life of MC Wheels,” Ryan said.
“This educational piece resonated with our judging panel and is already being used by disability organisations to better understand the services and roles required for disability support workers.”
You can watch the winning video here.
Live on stage
MC Wheels also took to the stage and performed two songs at the awards ceremony.
“I opened and closed the show, which was pretty cool,” MC Wheels said.
“The first song was called Who Am I, and given the name of the song, I thought that would best suit the event.
“It’s all about discovering who you are as a person.
“I hadn’t performed that song before, so I was really nervous, but it went down well.
“The second song I performed was called Can’t Hold Me Back.”
While the pair were in Sydney, they also shot some music videos.
You can follow MC Wheels on Instagram and listen to his music on Spotify.
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