The 1st Jim Sheridan Short Film Competition awarded ‘Honourable Mention‘ in the category of Debut Director/Producer to Dave Thomas for his documentary film ‘1 BILLION‘.
All films were viewed by Oscar nominated Jim Sheridan as the first online competition took place over the weekend. From all the submissions, 50 films from all over the world were given Official Selection status. From the 50 films, 20 were awarded Finalist allowing them to compete in the online competition. Dave Thomas’s film was viewed by many online over the weekend. 1 BILLION is a film about the ability of people with a disability while facing unnecessary obstacles that are placed to prevent people with disability living and working as equals in their own country.
The film’s Producer and Director Dave Thomas says ‘the title of the film lets you know from the very start that there are 1 billion people with disabilities in the world. In Ireland we have approximately 365,000 people with disability.’
The film was made in black and white to convey the overall tone of the story. ‘I have amazing people with disabilities being interviewed and telling their inspirational stories, and I call this the white bright positive part of the film. Between the interviews are black cards with white writing on it telling you the reality of what it is like living in Ireland and in other parts of the world when you have a disability, and some of it makes for bleak reading, so I call that the depressive dark part of the film.’
1 Billion has been screened all over Ireland, the UK, North America, South America, various parts of Europe, Australia, Canada and India. ‘I could not have made it without the amazing people that allowed me to interview them. I also had a brilliant Director of Photography Paddy Barron from Waterford. The fact I have a physical disability and I wrote, produced, directed and edited the film also underlines the ability of someone with a disability. And that’s what the film is about. If there was a level playing field for people with disability then you would see more people with disability working in the film industry, being represented fairly on television, and really across the board. Since the ME TOO movement, there has been a lot of talk about gender equality. However, the effort by those in charge to rectify the blatant inequality in our society only worked at gender issues while ignoring other oppressed minorities because we did not have a global ME TOO movement to embarrass them into taking action.’
Dave is a Filmmaker, Journalist, Broadcaster, Writer, Disability Activist and LGBTQ+ Activist, living in south Wicklow with his husband Patrick and his dog Bella.
Everyone can now get their own digital copy of 1 BILLION. It can be rented and purchased by visiting www.davethomasfilms.net. The film is also being streamed on global platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Sofy.tv and FesthomeTV.
‘I am thrilled to have received the Honourable Mention from the first ever Jim Sheridan Short Film Competition. Having my film recognised by Jim Sheridan is an honour in itself,’ says Dave.
Dave is currently busy pitching three unique and exciting multi-episodic series which he hopes will end up on a streaming platform like Netflix.